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Old 22nd November 2006, 12:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Really Dirty Coal Mining, Comes with a high cost!

What can YOU do to help? Read this...Watch the video.




There's a bombing campaign underway in the United States. And it's happening in Appalachia.
Ravenous coal companies, financed by banks like Wells Fargo, are literally blowing the tops off of mountains simply to get to the seams of coal buried underneath. To date, 474 Appalachian mountains have been decapitated by the coal industry. By the end of the decade, mountaintop removal mining, if it continues unabated, will destroy an estimated 1.4 million acres. It has already buried and polluted over 1200 miles of rivers and streams with debris and waste.
Check out this shocking video and help spread the word about mountaintop removal.
As its land is blown apart, Appalachian culture faces extinction at the hands of corrupt coal companies and the greedy bankers that finance them. Families and communities have been driven from their homes and land by floods, landslides and blasting from a mixture of ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel, the same combination used by Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City bombing, set to knock the tops off some of Appalachia's most beautiful peaks. Mountaintop removal has damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and caused a 90% decrease in property values. Groundwater and wells are being poisoned by seeping mine waste causing a variety of health issues. As one coalfield resident remarked: "Our wells, our land, our homes, our culture, our very lives are being threatened. Will it take a tragedy for us to be heard?"
However, Appalachia has a long storied history of citizens standing up to power. From the 1880's until her death in 1930, Mother Jones organized miners against long hours, low pay and dangerous working conditions in underground mines. In 1920, Matewan, West Virginia's workers initiated and won a strike to speak as one collective voice through a mining union. Today's struggle is no less critical as people throughout the region and country are continuing these traditions by uniting against mountaintop removal and standing up to the wealth and power of the coal companies and their banks.
Those past and present stories are told throughout Appalachia. Recently, Rainforest Action Network, with the help of our friends and allies in the coalfields, created a brief video to chronicle the story of coalfield residents.
We need your help in getting the word out about mountaintop removal and folks in the coalfields. Please forward this video to 10 friends today and tell them to spread the word about mountaintop removal.
For the mountains,
Scott Parkin
Global Finance Campaign
Rainforest Action Network
www.ran.org
www.dirtymoney.org
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Old 22nd November 2006, 02:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Really Dirty Coal Mining, Comes with a high cost!

Quote:
As its land is blown apart, Appalachian culture faces extinction at the hands of corrupt coal companies and the greedy bankers that finance them.
The statement about "greedy bankers" - yeah, well, that's capitalism. The only other "alternatives" are communism, feudalism, and anarchism (in the most primal sense of the word, not the modern social philosophy). And how well have they worked?

Quote:
from a mixture of ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel, the same combination used by Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City bombing, set to knock the tops off some of Appalachia's most beautiful peaks.
What does Timothy McVeigh have to do with the destruction of mountain tops? Quite frankly, this piece's propagandist purposes are obvious; it uses emotionally charged words and images to wrench the heart of the listener, without providing anything in the way of logic.

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Mountaintop removal has damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and caused a 90% decrease in property values.
Whoever wrote this obviously doesn't know much about Appalachia. Property values were ALREADY low.

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However, Appalachia has a long storied history of citizens standing up to power. From the 1880's until her death in 1930, Mother Jones organized miners against long hours, low pay and dangerous working conditions in underground mines. In 1920, Matewan, West Virginia's workers initiated and won a strike to speak as one collective voice through a mining union. Today's struggle is no less critical as people throughout the region and country are continuing these traditions by uniting against mountaintop removal and standing up to the wealth and power of the coal companies and their banks.
Again, nothing more than rhetoric (and it is remarkably similar in structure to the opening lines of Marx's "Communist Manifesto," which leads me to wonder at the actual intentions of the author).



Ugh, I feel a bit dumber for having actually read that. It was pure rhetoric, with so little substance. The organization made zero mention of the fact that most states' economies depend on those coalfields - in other words, it ignores the fact that this is an extremely complicated issue.

I do despise this method of mining, as I think mountains have an aesthetic value that far outweighs any material gain from their destruction. Strip mines, mine pits, and so forth can all be filled in, and won't be noticeable in a decade; mountaintop removal mining causes more-or-less permanent changes to the landscape. I just don't approve of "environmental" organizations exploiting environmental issues to further their political ideologies (in this case, Marxism, or perhaps hippy anarchism). And, having just looked through their website, I can see that this organization is much more interested in attacking "dem eeeeevil corporations" than actually worrying about the environment.

*sigh* I just hope this organizations don't turn the environment into one big joke with their silly rhetoric and their obvious ideological slants.
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Old 22nd November 2006, 04:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Really Dirty Coal Mining, Comes with a high cost!

I know, lets send in people to mine the seams - thats much better, and only a few of them die...

I didn't realise that the Appalacian mountains were covered in Rainforests, but I suppose you learn something every day.
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Old 22nd November 2006, 07:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Really Dirty Coal Mining, Comes with a high cost!

The problem is better stated here:

Rainforest Action Network - RAN.org


"Coal companies claim that mountaintop removal creates job and stimulates the local economy. But the real motive of mountaintop removal is to eliminate jobs in the mining sector. In 1940, West Virginia employed 130,000 miners 130,000 short tons of coal annually. By 1997, West Virginia employed less than 20,000 miners producing 180,000 short tons of coal annually. Mountaintop removal accounts for about 1.2% of jobs and brings in 2.6% to the local economy."


Rane: People need those jobs. Coal miners are just that, coal miners. They know the risks and they do it anyways for thier familiies. Other people have risky jobs and do them too, Alaskan fishermen, underwater welders, loggers, ect.


PS: While I agree property is not a valued commodity in the Appalacian mountains, you all have to consider that regardless of what that property value is to us, it is probably more important to the people who freaking LIVE there. Just because it isn't valueable to the rest of the world does not mean it has no value.
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Old 23rd November 2006, 02:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Re: Really Dirty Coal Mining, Comes with a high cost!

LOL...of course they used emotionally charged words...the attempt is to motivate people to become evolved! There are several different problems with mining like this.

The people who live there are not benefiting. As Dustin states, correctly....this type of mining COSTS local miner's their jobs.

On a broader scale, it causes such devastation to the environment as to completely disrupt the normal balances. Needless to say, this isn't the only sort of Capitalism that promotes such carnage, there are many. And that's part of the problem as a whole. We know so much more now about how the environment works, how seemingly trival little echosystems play a much bigger roll in keeping the environment as a whole healthy and functioning as it was designed to. Yet, we go about our merry way ripping it apart as if we still believe that we have a right to do so, and that everything will be peachy keen, or we simply don't give a rat's azz as long as we can feed our bank account...and to hell with the end results.

As a side dish to the general environmental disregards...is that the prople who DO LIVE THERE are being exposed to chemicals they shouldn't be...and as stated by one resident...WITH NO WARNING OR INFORMATION being provided to tell them their children are now playing in toxic, poluted waste waters....I'm sorry, but that's just a whole lotta not right!

If I own the land next to yours...and we are both in a "wilderness" area (or not even)...does that give me the right to create poluted ground water that CAN EFFECT YOUR DRINKING WATER...because you get your water from a well? Shouldn't I have to warn you...morally, if not legally, that what I plan to do on MY land may likely cause an effect that could poison YOU and your family...your children?

Big Business has long skirted the moral obligations to people who live near where they operate, it's nothing new at all.

If you don't like the artical, the video, the complaint...that's fine...it's your right to say piss on this, and believe it's a bunch of hookey. But, if you truly feel "dumber" for being aware of the situation, I'm sorry for you. To become aware of different situations and different points of view only empowers us to each make informed decisions about what is going on around us. You may not agree, but did you have any clue this was happening, and did you know there were people who DO feel it is not a good thing, and why they feel that way?
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Old 23rd November 2006, 09:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Really Dirty Coal Mining, Comes with a high cost!

Quote:
If you don't like the artical, the video, the complaint...that's fine...it's your right to say piss on this, and believe it's a bunch of hookey. But, if you truly feel "dumber" for being aware of the situation, I'm sorry for you. To become aware of different situations and different points of view only empowers us to each make informed decisions about what is going on around us. You may not agree, but did you have any clue this was happening, and did you know there were people who DO feel it is not a good thing, and why they feel that way?
Yes, I'm well aware of the entire situation - I mean, I only live a few hours away from Appalachia. And I'm also aware that those of a Marxist persuasion have been trying to use this for decades as the fuel that ignites a proletariat uprising. (It hasn't been very successful, obviously.)

And, as I said in my post, I don't approve of mountain mining. I think it is horrible, and I do think that we need to do something about it. I agree with you completely! But I also don't approve of political organizations *masquerading* as environmental movements in order to further their own agendas. Sorry, I probably wasn't clear about that. What I mean is this: I agree with the idea that mountaintop removal is bad, but I disagree with the organization's obvious motivations and intentions.

Oh, and dustinzgirl:

Quote:
While I agree property is not a valued commodity in the Appalacian mountains, you all have to consider that regardless of what that property value is to us, it is probably more important to the people who freaking LIVE there. Just because it isn't valueable to the rest of the world does not mean it has no value.
Yes, I'm terribly sorry. I just realized how horrible my statement sounded. I feel ashamed now.
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Old 27th November 2006, 05:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Really Dirty Coal Mining, Comes with a high cost!

I wouldn't waste time feeling guilty....no harm, no foul! Even if you didn't feel it a noble cause...you're entitled to your OPINION!

It IS a challenge to decide which groups to support. Politically, I think most of us have learned, that it rarely matters which party a figure belongs to...they all have a tendency to say whatever they think the largest number of voters might want to hear...to polish up the truth so that it shines as brightly as possible while the very shine of it might blind US to what hides under all that shimmer...dare I say...they frequently LIE...or at the least say one thing at one point in time and then shift away from it after they are in power.

From a logical point of view...I think you brought up some valid concerns that would best be satisfied by the individual, before "buying into THIS GROUP." How many people USED TO support the United Way 100%, based upon their song and dance? And...how many now know what the abysmal, puny percentage of their contributions that actually go towards support of their assorted causes...vs. the amount that goes into their salaries, perks and administrative coffers?

Personally, I'm feeling pretty good about THIS group, based upon what minor research I have done on them....I'll admit, doing more research would be a good thing, and currently I do not send them what little money I have to donate to groups I support. I do respond to letter-writing requests from them, as I do a number of group. I'll also make phone calls on issues they bring to me, to my political powers. I look for non-profit groups who not only support issues and causes of which I have concerns, but also HOW do they run their non-profit structure? Are staff members volunteers? Or paid? Are they wasting money on "gifts" to contributors, or putting it towards the cause? Are they driving expensive cars that are paid for by the non-profit group, flying first class or on a plane owned by the group, paid for with donations received? Sorry, I have no interest in supporting any group that uses funds in such manners. I work for a living and I VOLUNTEER to help groups I have a mutual interest in supporting...a given cause. I will not take money for donating my time, or gifts for what little money I have to give away...to me that just negates the whole "goodness" aspect of doing something "nice" or in "doing the right thing."

If you feel "something" needs to be done about this situation, but are unsure of or don't care for the style of propaganda used by THIS group....do more research about "the group" and/or think of what YOU can do to make a real difference...it need not be huge, since many individuals working intelligently towards a common goal are just as likely to inch towards success in some manner...if you learn of something that strikes a cord for you ...hop up and do what you can do....trust me on this, you are more likely to make a difference today and tomorrow than you did the weeks before...no matter what prior efforts you may have put forth...more is always going to be a positive addition!
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