If you haven’t heard about mountaintop removal, then you just aren’t paying attention. In a time when all sorts of environmental issues are receiving constant attention, one of the problems that hits closest to home is the aforementioned mining practice. Here in Kentucky (and all over the country) people rely largely on coal for power. Mining companies have found that it is quicker and easier to obtain that coal by blasting down through the top of a mountain – removing its top – than by tunneling in through the sides.
Cheaper energy comes at a serious cost, though: the environment is being destroyed; rivers and streams are being polluted or disappearing, and poisonous dust permeates the air. The people who live in Eastern Kentucky are losing their homes and their health because of this disaster.
Many efforts have been made to bring awareness to the issue, largely by the grassroots organization “Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.” A couple of years ago, Kentucky musicians Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore put out an excellent album entitled “Dear Companion” with lyrics pertaining to the issue and proceeds donated to the cause.
Then, of course, we have documentaries, and one such film is screening tonight for free at the New Albanian Brewing Company ’s Pizzeria and Public House. “The Last Mountain ” shows the efforts of a group of people in West Virginia as they attempt to prevent the Massey Energy Company from mining coal in this devastating way.
Throughout the year, NABC will present free showings of documentaries focusing on important social and environmental issues. Stay tuned for further updates on film screenings.
Image courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes .