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Combating Mountaintop Removal

Combating Mountaintop Removal PDF Author: Bryan T. McNeil
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252093461
Category : Nature
Languages : en
Pages : 216
Book Description
Drawing on powerful personal testimonies of the hazards of mountaintop removal in southern West Virginia, Combating Mountaintop Removal critically examines the fierce conflicts over this violent and increasingly prevalent form of strip mining. Bryan T. McNeil documents the changing relationships among the coal industry, communities, environment, and economy from the perspective of local grassroots activist organizations and their broader networks. Focusing on Coal River Mountain Watch (CRMW), an organization composed of individuals who have personal ties to the coal industry in the region, the study reveals a turn away from once-strong traditional labor unions and the emergence of community-based activist organizations. By framing social and moral arguments in terms of the environment, these innovative hybrid movements take advantage of environmentalism's higher profile in contemporary politics. In investigating the local effects of globalization and global economics, McNeil tracks the profound reimagining of social and personal ideas such as identity, history, and landscape and considers their roles in organizing an agenda for progressive community activism.

Combating Mountaintop Removal

Combating Mountaintop Removal PDF Author: Bryan T. McNeil
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252093461
Category : Nature
Languages : en
Pages : 216
Book Description
Drawing on powerful personal testimonies of the hazards of mountaintop removal in southern West Virginia, Combating Mountaintop Removal critically examines the fierce conflicts over this violent and increasingly prevalent form of strip mining. Bryan T. McNeil documents the changing relationships among the coal industry, communities, environment, and economy from the perspective of local grassroots activist organizations and their broader networks. Focusing on Coal River Mountain Watch (CRMW), an organization composed of individuals who have personal ties to the coal industry in the region, the study reveals a turn away from once-strong traditional labor unions and the emergence of community-based activist organizations. By framing social and moral arguments in terms of the environment, these innovative hybrid movements take advantage of environmentalism's higher profile in contemporary politics. In investigating the local effects of globalization and global economics, McNeil tracks the profound reimagining of social and personal ideas such as identity, history, and landscape and considers their roles in organizing an agenda for progressive community activism.

Something's Rising

Something's Rising PDF Author: Silas House
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780813133836
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 304
Book Description
Something's Rising collects oral histories from a diverse group of individuals from Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Virginia who are fighting mountaintop removal, an ecologically devastating form of coal mining. Taken together, these voices stand as a testament of what it means to be an Appalachian and demonstrate the value of preserving a culture's history and spirit through the stories of its people. The authors have chosen twelve unique voices including Jean Ritchie, the "mother of folk," who doesn't let her eighty-six years slow down her fighting spirit; Judy Bonds, a tough-talking coal miner's daughter; Kathy Mattea, the beloved country singer who believes that cooperation is the key to the battle; Larry Bush, who doesn't back down even when speeding coal trucks are used to intimidate him; and Denise Giardina, the West Virginia writer who ran for governor to bring attention to the mountaintop removal issue. Written and edited by native sons of the mountains, these riveting, personal stories are captured in an original and highly readable book.

Bringing Down the Mountains

Bringing Down the Mountains PDF Author: Shirley Stewart Burns
Publisher:
ISBN:
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 256
Book Description
Coal is West Virginia's bread and butter. For well over a century, West Virginia has answered the energy call of the nation—and the world—by mining and exporting its coal. In 2004, West Virginia's coal industry provided nearly forty thousand jobs directly related to coal, and it contributed $3.5 billion to the state's gross annual product. And in the same year, West Virginia led the nation in coal exports, shipping over 50 million tons of coal to twenty-three countries. Coal has made millionaires of some and paupers of many. For generations of honest, hard-working West Virginians, coal has put food on tables, built homes, and sent kids to college. But coal has also maimed, debilitated, and killed. For West Virginia's underground coal miners, every day can be a waltz with danger and a prayer that death doesn't cut in. As the United States' voracious appetite for an affordable, plentiful, domestic energy source accelerates on a daily basis, the pressure for the Mountain State to produce more and more coal likewise increases. The result has been the expansion of mountaintop removal (MTR) surface coal mining in the steep hills of southern West Virginia. An extreme version of strip mining, MTR blasts off the tops of mountains in order to reveal the coal seams near the surface. More productive than underground mining, MTR, nonetheless, is killing our mountains.Although mountaintop removal has been practiced for nearly forty years, it did not really take off until the 1990s when a federal Clean Air Act amendment mandated more stringent emissions standards, thus increasing the demand for southern West Virginia's low-sulfur, high-volatility coal. Throughout the 1980s, MTR permits were granted to cover 9,800 acres of West Virginia land. In 2002, permits covering 12,540 acres were granted in a nine-month period alone. What's been missing from this supply-and-demand equation behind West Virginia's coal production is the environmental effects of mountaintop removal and its impact on the Mountain State's people. MTR has ruined homes, increased the risk of flooding, endangered the lives of school children, forced friends and family members out of town, and turned hardwood forests into moonscapes. In some cases, entire neighborhoods have been obliterated. Likewise, MTR has caused a rift within the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). Traditionally the consensus builder, defender, and unifier of miners, the UMWA's allegiance is now torn between its union members working on MTR sites and the underground miners whose interests often conflict with those of surface workers. Politicians have vacillated between silence and protectionism. But the individuals whose lives have been ruined by MTR feel far less ambivalent about the matter: they want change. "Bringing Down the Mountains" provides insight into how mountaintop removal has affected the people and the land of southern West Virginia. It examines the mechanization of the mining industry and the power relationships between coal interests, politicians, and the average citizen. Bringing Down the Mountains reveals how a political system married to natural-resource extraction turns a blind eye to the irrevocable disfigurement of the earth while thousands of West Virginians suffer the consequences.

Coal Country

Coal Country PDF Author: Shirley Stewart Burns
Publisher:
ISBN:
Category : Technology & Engineering
Languages : en
Pages : 314
Book Description
Based on a documentary film, this illustrated volume exposes the politics and economics of mountaintop-removal (MTR) mining in Appalachia, and the devastation inflicted on workers, the landscape and the environment by the mining companies.

Mountain Justice

Mountain Justice PDF Author: Tricia Shapiro
Publisher: AK Press
ISBN: 184935023X
Category : Nature
Languages : en
Pages : 386
Book Description
"Shapiro is one of the few writers on this subject that actually understands the strategy, the tactics, and the internal politics of a dynamic and growing movement. This is environmental journalism at it best."—Mike Roselle, Earth First! founder and author of Tree Spiker Mountaintop removal (MTR) does exactly what it says: a mountaintop is stripped of trees, blown to bits with explosives, then pushed aside by giant equipment—all to expose a layer of coal to be mined. Hundreds of thousands of acres of ancient forested mountains have been "removed" this way and will never again support the biologically rich and diverse forest and stream communities that evolved there over millions of years—all to support our flawed national energy policy. Mountain Justice tells a terrific set of firsthand stories about living with MTR and offers on-the-scene—and behind-the-scenes—reporting of what people are doing to try to stop it. Tricia Shapiro lets the victims of mountaintop removal and their allies tell their own stories, allowing moments of quiet dignity and righteous indignation to share center stage. Includes coverage of the sharp escalation of anti-MTR civil disobedience, with more than 130 arrests in West Virginia alone during the first year of the Obama administration. Tricia Shapiro has been closely following and writing about efforts to end large-scale strip mining for coal in Appalachia since 2004. She now lives on a remote mountain homestead in western North Carolina, near the Tennessee border.

Religion and Resistance in Appalachia

Religion and Resistance in Appalachia PDF Author: Joseph D. Witt
Publisher: Place Matters: New Directions
ISBN: 9780813179100
Category : Business & Economics
Languages : en
Pages : 296
Book Description
A path-breaking study of the role of religions in the struggle against mountaintop removal coal mining

Religion and Resistance in Appalachia

Religion and Resistance in Appalachia PDF Author: Joseph D. Witt
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813168139
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 296
Book Description
In the last fifty years, the Appalachian Mountains have suffered permanent and profound change due to the expansion of surface coal mining. The irrevocable devastation caused by this practice has forced local citizens to redefine their identities, their connections to global economic forces, their pasts, and their futures. Religion is a key factor in the fierce debate over mountaintop removal; some argue that it violates a divine mandate to protect the earth, while others contend that coal mining is a God-given gift to ensure human prosperity and comfort. In Religion and Resistance in Appalachia: Faith and the Fight against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining, Joseph D. Witt examines how religious and environmental ethics foster resistance to mountaintop removal coal mining. Drawing on extensive interviews with activists, teachers, preachers, and community leaders, Witt's research offers a fresh analysis of an important and dynamic topic. His study reflects a diversity of denominational perspectives, exploring Catholic and mainline Protestant views of social and environmental justice, evangelical Christian readings of biblical ethics, and Native and nontraditional spiritual traditions. By placing Appalachian resistance to mountaintop removal in a comparative international context, Witt's work also provides new outlooks on the future of the region and its inhabitants. His timely study enhances, challenges, and advances conversations not only about the region, but also about the relationship between religion and environmental activism.

Standing Our Ground

Standing Our Ground PDF Author: Joyce M. Barry
Publisher: Ohio University Press
ISBN: 9780821421321
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 208
Book Description
Standing Our Ground: Women, Environmental Justice, and the Fight to End Mountaintop Removal examines women’s efforts to end mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia. Mountaintop removal coal mining, which involves demolishing the tops of hills and mountains to provide access to coal seams, is one of the most significant environmental threats in Appalachia, where it is most commonly practiced. The Appalachian women featured in Barry’s book have firsthand experience with the negative impacts of Big Coal in West Virginia. Through their work in organizations such as the Coal River Mountain Watch and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, they fight to save their mountain communities by promoting the development of alternative energy resources. Barry’s engaging and original work reveals how women’s tireless organizing efforts have made mountaintop removal a global political and environmental issue and laid the groundwork for a robust environmental justice movement in central Appalachia.

When the Hills Are Gone

When the Hills Are Gone PDF Author: Thomas W. Pearson
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1452956227
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 256
Book Description
Fracking is one of the most controversial methods of fossil fuel extraction in the United States, but a great deal about it remains out of the public eye. In Wisconsin it has ignited an unprecedented explosion in the state’s sand mining operations, an essential ingredient in hydraulic fracturing that has shaken local communities to the core. In When the Hills Are Gone, Thomas W. Pearson reveals the jolting impact of sand mining on Wisconsin’s environment and politics. A source of extraordinary wealth for a lucky few, and the cause of despoiled land for many others, sand mining has raised alarm over air quality, water purity, noise, blasting, depressed tourism, and damage to the local way of life. It has also spurred a backlash in a grassroots effort that has grown into a mature political movement battling a powerful mining industry. When the Hills Are Gone tells the story of Wisconsin’s sand mining wars. Providing on-the-ground accounts from both the mining industry and the concerned citizens who fought back, Pearson blends social theory, ethnography, stirring journalism, and his own passionate point of view to offer an essential chapter of Wisconsin’s history and an important episode in the national environmental movement. Digging deep into the struggles over place, community, and local democracy that are occurring across the United States, When the Hills Are Gone gives vital insight into America’s environmental battles along the unexpected frontlines of energy development.

Fighting King Coal

Fighting King Coal PDF Author: Shannon Elizabeth Bell
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262528800
Category : Law
Languages : en
Pages : 341
Book Description
An examination of why so few people suffering from environmental hazards and pollution choose to participate in environmental justice movements. In the coal-mining region of Central Appalachia, mountaintop-removal mining and coal-industry-related flooding, water contamination, and illness have led to the emergence of a grassroots, women-driven environmental justice movement. But the number of local activists is small relative to the affected population, and recruiting movement participants from within the region is an ongoing challenge. In Fighting King Coal, Shannon Elizabeth Bell examines an understudied puzzle within social movement theory: why so few of the many people who suffer from industry-produced environmental hazards and pollution rise up to participate in social movements aimed at bringing about social justice and industry accountability. Using the coal-mining region of Central Appalachia as a case study, Bell investigates the challenges of micromobilization through in-depth interviews, participant observation, content analysis, geospatial viewshed analysis, and an eight-month “Photovoice” project—an innovative means of studying, in real time, the social dynamics affecting activist involvement in the region. Although the Photovoice participants took striking photographs and wrote movingly about the environmental destruction caused by coal production, only a few became activists. Bell reveals the importance of local identities to the success or failure of local recruitment efforts in social movement struggles, ultimately arguing that, if the local identities of environmental justice movements are lost, the movements may also lose their power.