Listening to The True Cost of Oil and seeing those images of forests stripped away reminded of an environmental issue taking place in my own home state: strip mining and the extreme form of strip mining, mountain top removal mining. In surface mining earth overlaying on mineral deposits is removed. Sides of mountains as well as entire mountain are stripped and blown away to get to the coal underneath.
Removing a whole mountain to that took millions of years to form is obviously bad for the environment right? But somehow this continues. it occurs not only in Kentucky but other parts of the nation too. Not only is this destroying the irreplaceable environment, but it’s destroying the lives of the people who call these mountains home. I don’t live in this area of Kentucky but the Appalachian area is something I’ve always known a lot about simply by living in Kentucky. The area has a lot of history but is also known for all the troubles with area caused by coal. The economy and people depend on coal mining not surface mining. Now I’m not saying support coal mining but this taking away of jobs from the Appalachian people just adds to the sting of the environmental effects of surface mining. surface mining uses explosives using harmful chemicals to get to what’s underneath. This takes place so close to communities that homes are bombarded with debris but on top of that toxic dust from the blast spreads in the air and covers the ground and runs into the water source. This surface mining is causing irrevocable damage to the health of communities in the Appalachian mountains destroying lives. This is were my passion comes in. I of course care deeply about the environment but I am deeply interested in how environment concerned issues effect the lives of people. Mining industry interests have tried to keep these health issues hidden saying these problems arise from the poverty these people live in and thus is no concern to the mining industry. Not only is there plenty of scientific findings, but if that were true, mining is still the cause of the poverty and then int turn the poor health. Mining industry interests need to own up to the ways they are destroying the environment and people’s lives.