Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mountaintop removal continues...

So it ends.

The tree sitters, Nick Stocks and Laura Steepleton, (with Climate Ground Zero) at Pettry Bottom, West Virginia were chased away by mine security staff who saw fit to torment the protesters with lights, noise, and finally buzzing chainsaws. So the tree sitters descended. But not before six days passed and the two protesters delivered a little more attention to the plight of these verdant hills and hardwood forests which the Massey Mining Corp. is destroying for a few bucks profit. And don't think that Massey employs loads of local residents in their calamitous endeavor. They don't. In fact, with groundwater cleanups, road construction, etc. it would be cheaper for the states where mountaintop removal is conducted to pay the miners to stay home. But that's not where the real money is. The real money goes into executive's pockets. And then around election time, a bit of those ill-gotten gains are used to buy the compliance and silence of key politicians.

Meanwhile, local residents get screwed: their groundwater is poisoned, their air is fouled with dust, the silence is punctuated with earthshaking dynamite blasts, their villages and homes are threatened by rickety sludge impoundments, and their long cherished hunting, fishing, berry & mushroom picking, and hiking grounds are lost forever. Instead of rippling hills and valleys with sun-dappled glades and sparkling streams, they are left with flat, gray, infertile plains of wasteland. And so are the rest of us. Forever.

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