Appalachia: Leveling and Plundering Coal Country

"You can't put a mountain back."   -- Judy Bonds

Across the Appalachians, companies are blowing entire mountaintops to smithereens to get at the thin coal seams below.  The communities of the region are paying the cost in their health, their culture and their natural heritage.  Big coal companies should not be allowed to turn our nations' oldest mountains into molehills, and NRDC is working with local allies to halt this damaging practice

Anyone interested in learning more about what I believe to be the nation's worst ongoing environmental tragedy can find good information at NRDC's website:  Our site is stocked with facts, photos, short videos, and tips on what you can do to help end this abominable practice. 

Beyond that, there are some amazing resources at your fingertips -- including a new forthcoming movie, a short investigative video, and a breathtaking book filled with arresting photos and essays.

First, the new movie COAL COUNTRY will air on Planet Green (a Discovery network) on November 14th at 8:00 pm ET.  This excellent movie examines the true cost of coal, as experienced through the coalfield opponents of mountaintop removal and the miners that espouse its economic value to Appalachian communities.  I attended the premier of this movie in Charleston, West Virginia over the summer -- read my blog review.  You can learn more about this amazing film (and even purchase the companion CD and book) by visiting:  Watch the trailer below:


For another great primer on mountaintop removal, check out the 20-minute video produced by Yale Environment 360Leveling Appalachia: The Legacy of Mountaintop Removal Mining.  This stark, beautifully-shot film offers a first-hand look at mountaintop removal and what is at stake for Appalachia's environment and its people.  Click here to watch Leveling Appalachia.

Finally, there is the new coffee-table book Plundering Appalachia: The Tragedy of Mountaintop-Removal.  This book is a searing exposé, in words and images, of the greatest ecological calamity now being wreaked upon America -- an outrage justified by the desire for "cheap" power.  With large-format photography and engaging writing from NRDC's own Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and many others, Plundering Appalachia illuminates Big Coal's assault on the people and wildlife of the region.  The book includes first-person testimonies from coalfields residents about life in the shadow of mountaintop-mining operations, and dissects the current coal-powered energy economy that is toxic to people and nature-and helping cook the planet.  I highly recommend watching this 8-minute video overview of the book.


As a bonus, the first person to view the Plundering video and comment on this blog will get a complimentary copy of the book.  Seriously, check it out and tell me what you think.  I'll be happy to mail you a FREE copy of this remarkable book.

The slow but stead destruction of the Appalachian Mountains is an American tragedy.  We all have a role to play in stopping it.  The first step is to learn about what's happening in the coalfields to our country's oldest moutains and then to tell others about it.  Already we're seeing signs of progress with the Obama administration but we must keep the momentum going.  Together, we can build the political will to end mountaintop removal once and for all.