J. Henry Fair is a phenomenal photographer who generously lends his images to NRDC. He has been particularly helpful to me by providing for our use his starkly captivating photos of mountaintop removal coal mining. By hook or by crook, whether by helicopter or hike, Henry always manages to capture the shots that take your breath away. Visit the slide-show of his photos displayed on NRDC's website: www.NoMoreMountaintopRemoval.org
Henry is also passionately committed to the cause of environmental protection, especially the need to end mountaintop removal. Not just an artist with a camera, he also chronicles his images with stories from his own travels and experience. That's certainly true with Appalachia.
Below is his photo of Coal River Mountain before blasting began a few days ago:
And here, in his own words, is Henry's take on the saga:
The long dreaded destruction via Mountaintop Removal of Coal River Mountain has begun, all to line the pockets of big coal and feed our heedless demand for electricity. This in spite of a viable proposal to place windmills on the peak that would provide energy for generation with no carbon footprint.
Coal is the biggest single cause of global warming as well as a slew of poisonous elements released into the environment. Worried about the mercury in your fish? Turn off the lights.
The Appalachian mountains in West Virginia are home to some of the most beautiful and biodiverse forests in the world. The destruction of these mountains, forests and streams is one of the most egregious examples of our short-sighted demand for energy: a folly that is being repeated ad nauseam around the planet.
Like children, we want what we want and ignore the consequences. So that we can drive our SUV's and leave our lights and air conditioners on, we blithely sacrifice the systems that sustain us with clean air and water.
An even greater lunacy is our ostrich approach to climate change, an issue that is a clear and present danger to us all. Coastal areas around the world will be under water soon, rain patterns will change wreaking havoc on agriculture; and hungry, desperate people will descend on the "haves" and demand their share. And we will have to kill them. This is your children's world.
Pay no attention.
Get in your car and drive.
Don't forget to leave the lights on.
Yes indeed, Henry is a great photographer and a great friend of NRDC. And if you love mountains like Henry does, please take a moment to help save this special one in West Virginia.
Call President Obama today at 202-456-1414 and implore him to mobilize federal agencies to stop the senseless destruction of Coal River Mountain immediately.