Introducing guest blogger Megan Reid. Megan is a student at Berea College and says she’s recently been awakened to the source of the coal that most of the Southeastern United States uses for energy. She writes, “I believe that if everyone knew a little more about it, the majority would have the heart to stand up for what is right and stop sacrificing the mountains and most of all the health of these people that live closest to these sites.” Here’s what else she has to say:
I recently took a field trip to eastern Kentucky, the lower section of the heart of Appalachia where mountain top removal is most popular extraction method of coal. In awe of all the beauty of this natural mountainous section of the world, there were patches of mountains that were just missing and valleys were replaced by low nutritional quality grass on a soil made of shale. Seeing these “reclamation” sites first hand matured my understanding and opinion of mountain top removal.
A “reclaimed” valley covered in this type of razor sharp seeded grass. There used to be a natural stream here.
Learning about the geological history of the Appalachian mountain chain and how coal is naturally manufactured makes it seem all the more ridiculous that we extract it, burn it, fight wars for it, and sacrifice our own people for it. It is a legal rape that effects all the people downstream, at the bottom of the valley, living within range of the vibrations of the explosions used to blow the tops off the mountains. The water is poisoned. The wildlife is poisoned. The people are poisoned.
A mountain top removal site in Perry County. Behind this site is what the mountain should look like.
These fossil fuels are historical keys to the history of the world and we burn them without respect for or any sort of thanks toward the earth. History books teach us that the aboriginal tribes who sacrificed a virgin to the volcano once a year or so were savages, but we sacrifice the health and well being of a whole population of people whom we claim are our brothers and sisters for a substance that feeds our recreation and convenience.
So far, through the history of politics and present day politics I have learned that people continue to follow in their fathers’ footsteps and refuse to open their eyes to the devastation of their actions yet somehow still claim to care as a father – hypocrites. And then those who decide to open their eyes see this trend throughout the history of man, as we know it, and are overwhelmed by the action necessary to simply protect what should be protecting us – Mother Earth.