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The Last Mountain

Story ID:7448
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Cold River Valley West Virginia usa
Year:2010
Person:Credo
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Everytime Credo or another environmentally-conscious group would send a
petition asking us to contact Congress or the President re strip-mining, I was
sure to sign it. I knew generally that strip mining was the removal of coal by
shearing off the mountain tops. What I didn't know is the utter devastation
it has done to Appalachia and that so far 500 mountains have been sheared
there. Obviously this destruction has destroyed the once beautiful mountains
which were nature's gift to not only Appalachia but to all of us. How
recklessly we seem to treasure and value her gifts.

Not only is nature ravaged by this process, but I read that streams and waterways
are damaged as well by the falling debris. This can't be healthy for the people
who depend on this water for drinking. But then I read even more damaging
news -2,000 miles of streams have been buried -thereby destroying these water
sources altogether. How devasting this must be for the people and animals who may
have depended on these streams. And yet another grim statistic: l million acres of forest
have been decimated as well from this type of coal harvesting. For me this means
that wildlife there has been killed off as well. We keep on taking land from the
animals until they have nowhere to go.

With this Credo Action post came an invitation to see a film this weekend in Cleveland
called "The Last Mountain." Obviously, big coal is not happy with this film. I truly
hope that many environmentalists and people in general in the Cleveland area will
make it a point to see it. For area people here are the particulars:

What: Cleveland Opening Weekend of the Last Mountain
When: This Weekend - Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 9,10, and 11)
Where: Cedar Lee Theatre, 2163 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights.

Frighteningly, the coal we have become so use to as a source of half of the electricity
produced in the United states, is also the largest source of climate-altering greenhouse
gas emissions worldwide. Naturally, big coal probably will dispute this assertion. Sadly,
it comes down to who you want to believe or for that matter WHO YOU SHOULD
BELIEVE.

Per Credo: "The Last Mountain" tells the story of mountaintop removal mining through
the lens of Coal River Valley in West Virginia, where activists are trying to stop Massey
Energy and other big coal companies from continuing to destroy their communities."

I know at a time when we are facing very high job unemployment, you may be thinking
that jobs will be lost if mountaintop removal is forced to stop. I can only commiserate
with this thought but also can't help thinking - should we be engaged in destroying our
planet for the sake of jobs or should we be looking for jobs which instead help to preserve
and save it? I know easier said then done, but it is a challenge we must face or live
with the consequences of not doing enough to save our environment.