What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Blog Archive

Thursday, 17 September 2009

The devastation wrought by dirty coal

There's resource war and then there is resource oppression; when a multinational company is allowed, by corrupt government, to ride roughshod over human rights to extract profits from the ground. Usually perpetrated upon powerless third world populations, now being practiced on the people of the first world as well.

Most of us have heard about the tragic injustices wrought by oil companies Shell, Chevron and Texaco in Ecuador and Nigeria, for profit rape and pillage of the local ecosystem leaving a poisoned dying populace in it's wake. We have learned about the crime that is the tar sands. But how many of us have heard about the same thing happening in the United States?

From West Virginia to Pennsylvania our insatiable hunger for energy has created toxic conditions choking whole valleys, destroying thousands of rivers and streams, and even the local's drinking water. Read more at Care2.com, here's and excerpt; from the post from Jennifer Mueller;

"This past weekend the New York Times covered the story of the Hall-Massey family near Charleston, West Virginia and the toxic chemicals pouring out of the water taps in the family's bathroom and kitchen. The Times reveals a common third-world condition - the lack of safe water for drinking and bathing - facing residents of one of the wealthiest nations in the world. The reporter outlines evidence of a massive failure by state and federal regulators to protect the community of Prenter, lax enforcement of water pollution laws, and yet another consequence of U.S. dependence on fossil fuels for energy.

Because what's polluting this community's water supply? Coal.

Coal Mining Pollution Threatens Drinking Water

Jennifer Hall-Massey and 264 of her neighbors are suing nearby coal mining companies for pumping toxic chemicals into the ground and contaminating their drinking water. "Everything that's in your sludge ponds is in my water, so how can it not be related?" Hall-Massey asks in a video on the Times web site.

Leaking sludge ponds is only one of many ways coal mining can pollute our water. Mountaintop removal mining, blowing the tops off mountains to reveal coal seams and dumping the debris - including numerous toxic heavy metals - into stream beds, is completely legal and common. According to the Sierra Club, more than 1,200 miles of mountain streams have been buried by such waste in Appalachia.

And the effect of underground mining isn't pretty either. Acid drainage from abandon mines pollute streams and groundwater with toxic metals and minerals. Acid drainage has contaminated some 3,000 miles of streams in Pennsylvania alone."

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