No hope in dirty coal, no light in that darkness

Posted December 18th, 2008 in Blog, Featured Comments Off on No hope in dirty coal, no light in that darkness

Fostering Ecological Hope
Today from Margaret Swedish:

Have you seen this commercial?  This is Reality.   I absolutely love this!  Congratulations to the creators.

I just want to add that there will never, ever, be such a thing as ‘clean coal,’ even if ‘capturing and sequestering’ carbon dioxide emissions actually worked, even if we could bury all the CO2 emissions without causing an even greater danger and potential disaster should it escape.  Always, always, I go back to the mining, and there is no way to mine coal without causing immense ecological devastation.  Again, visit these sites for more info.

Appalachian Voices
iLoveMountains.org
Coal River Mountain Watch
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

For a long time I have been impressed with the work of these and other grassroots organizations in Appalachia as they bring the reality of the dirty coal industry to our attention and to our consciences.  If you are a regular visitor to this site, you know that, while we encourage cleaning up the industry as much as possible for the sake of the Earth’s climate, we also believe that, no matter how much coal we have stored in our country’s geology,

Mountaintop removal - West Virginia - photo by Vivian Stockman

Mountaintop removal - West Virginia - photo by Vivian Stockman

to save the planet we must move away from coal altogether as quickly as possibleIt is immoral to blow up one more mountain or destroy one more magnificent mountain valley, to alter the landscape of the planet itself, so that I can turn on my lights — especially when the innovative technology exists for us to replace this dirty fossil fuel with clean renewables.

Here’s another site, Coal is Dirty, sponsored by The DeSmog Project, Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace USA.

You see, there’s tons of info on the subject, but still little political action or commitment.  Pres-elect Obama has signaled support for ‘clean coal’ technology, so he needs to be the focus of a lot of work, along with our members of Congress and state governments.  Here in Wisconsin, activists managed to defeat a proposed coal-fired power planet for the southwestern part of the state, and the more this happens around the country, the less likely that coal will dominate our future energy requirements.

Mountaintop removal WV - photo by Vivian Stockman

Mountaintop removal WV - photo by Vivian Stockman

Why do I harp on this so much on this site?  For me, this issue of coal and electricity is a powerful metaphor for all that is wrong with our human relationship with this Earth of which we are a part.  For me, it is an egregious affront to the planet and that relationship to abuse and destroy Nature for our human benefit.  For me, it is an expression of our immoral arrogance towards the natural world around us, to all that the Earth has given us of its abundance, to blow it to pieces, to spread toxins into our air, water and soil, to gouge out the planet for the remains of oil and other fossil fuels — because we insist on these little pleasures of buying a thing at a shopping mall, for having a lifestyle that is a fiction, a completely unsustainable and violent way of life in the context of our magnificent ecology.

Light in the darkness — whatever your faith tradition or spirituality, humans have always created mythologies and rituals around this moment in our year, when in the northern hemisphere we plunge into the long darkness, only to begin the re-emergence of the light just after the winter solstice (this year on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008, at 7:04 AM EST).

Friends, let’s not allow the artificial light of our industrial and post-industrial world to be a light of destruction and devastation.  We can change this. I urge your participation in the work to end the myth of clean coal.  Assume nothing from our new political leadership.  The coal lobby will be waging an enormous battle to hang on to their way of doing business.

Appalachian Mountains - USGS-ERP

Appalachian Mountains - USGS-ERP

Let’s join with our friends in Appalachia, the communities that live every day with the destruction and contamination of their natural world for the sake of our lights and air conditioning, to end the myth of clean coal and to support sustainable, renewable, clean energy sources — even if it means we will be ‘inconvenienced’ as we go through the transition.

At this time of year, where is hope?  It resides now in turning this difficult time in which we are living, into which we are descending, into an opportunity to construct a new meaning of the human on the planet.

Now that would be light in the darkness indeed.

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Mountaintop removal photos by Vivian Stockman, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Huntington, West Virginia

Visit our action page to see how you can join the effort to stop dirty coal.

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