I first found out about this a little bit ago, and the resulting temper tantrum was of such epic proportions, I had to wait a couple of days to do a post on it, because my hands were literally shaking with so much anger, I could barely type.
Liberal Rapture puts it best in this post, by John.
Obama’s Iraq reversal caused a big fat Told ya so from me.
His flibbertigibbet torture stances hardly surprised.
Ignoring the gay community that he courted and hypnotized is, of course, par for the course.
I must say that Obama’s approval of blowing the tops off 42 mountains is nothing short of heartbreaking. Not because BHO disappoints yet again. Ha! I knew he’d be a nightmare of flip flops and lies. It is depressing because the entire concept of “mountain top removal” is a horror.
The article he links to is by Democracy Now. In an interview with Amy Goodman, Jeff Biggers explains why blowing mountaintops to smithereens is not just an environmental issue, but a human rights issue.
AMY GOODMAN: What about media coverage, Jeff Biggers, of Appalachia?
JEFF BIGGERS: Media coverage. You know, this is something that I’m just not quite sure what’s going on. You know, here you have one of the most egregious environmental and human rights violations right before our very eyes. You have little communities in West Virginia, a little town outside called Prenter, where 97 percent of the people have some sort of gallbladder disease. You have Americans who cannot drink their water. You have people who are living under daily explosions and silica dust coming into their gardens and their farms. People are having to be relocated and removed. And yet the mainstream media is not handling it. They’re just sort of acting as if this is something that can wait, that something—that it’s not really an urgent issue.
That’s right. Not an urgent issue. Gallbladder disease? Contaminated water? Who cares? They’re all just bitter, gun-toting Appalachian racists, anyway. Wanna know what really matters? Michelle Obama has arms! And pretty shoes!
Besides, it’s not the Coal Mining industry’s fault! Even though they are in bed with the President and almost every other member of Congress- those mountaintops are in the way! We’ve got to blow the m*ther f*ckers off the face of the earth, because there be coal in there, and we couldn’t POSSIBLY hire mineworkers and give people jobs in a time of Economic Depression in which thousands of people are looking for work! For one thing, that would make sense, and for another, it would cost money!
AMY GOODMAN: Who’s pushing for it? Why does it continue?
JEFF BIGGERS: It continues because we have an incredible coal industry and their lobby in Washington. And this is something that transcends politics. You know, I’m based in the Midwest now, in Illinois.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And also, just to clarify, for the industry, it’s much cheaper to blow up a mountaintop than to actually send people, workers, underground to get the coal out.
JEFF BIGGERS: Exactly. When we say coal is cheap, of course, you know, that’s an absolute outrage. It’s not cheap. It’s just cheaper for them. You know, instead of having three underground mining jobs, they only need one job of someone blowing up the mountain with massive explosives and then using heavy equipment to get at this tiny little seam. So, yes, for them, it’s a cheaper and effective way.
But the problem is, the coal really transcends party politics, that you have liberal Democrats in the Midwest, like Senator Dick Durbin from my Illinois or even President Obama, who have always been working with the coal industry. It’s something that, if you come from a coal state, it’s been very hard to shake from the stranglehold of the coal industry on our politics.
Well, the media doesn’t care, because they are in bed with the coal and nuclear lobby, also. Coal sure gets around! But don’t fret! There is still time for the POTUS to have a change of heart!
JUAN GONZALEZ: And are there any political leaders in the region who have been courageous enough to stand up to the coal industry?
JEFF BIGGERS: Yes, there’s one man who’s a great American hero: ninety-four-year-old Ken Hechler. He was the great congressman. The only congressman who marched with Martin Luther King in Selma, Alabama, was this hillbilly from West Virginia, great Ken Hechler. And here he is, ninety-four years old, in West Virginia last week, and the state troopers refused to arrest him, you know. And Ken Hechler came to me, and he said, “President Obama needs to have a Harry S. Truman movement—moment,” that he must, like in 1948, when Harry S. Truman, against the Democratic Party, said we must integrate the military, and he did that on executive order. And Representative Hechler is saying, “We’ve reached that moment now, that President Obama must rise above this idea that we have to have a consensus, that we have to have some kind of compromise with the coal industry, that you can’t compromise with evil.” And Representative Hechler was willing to be arrested for this.
Don’t count on it, old man. That whole Harry S. Truman moment? Don’t make me laugh. Funny how, in the age of Hope! and Change!, I don’t even feel the need to remind people why they shouldn’t get their hopes up for change. Particularly regarding things as important as say, oh, I don’t know, F*CKING BLOWN UP MOUNTAINS!
And do I even need to say that Environmentalists who supported Obama only have themselves to blame? I think not.
I don’t know about any of the commenters and posters here, but this is just unbearable for me. As you all know, my spirituality and beliefs are nature-based. Nature and the Environment, to me, is sacred. To see forty two mountains wiped off the face of the Earth is enough to break my heart into a million little pieces. I actually began to cry, to blub, when I read about this. And snuggling my kitty didn’t help.
I have roots in Applachia. I grew up here in Cleveland, but half of my family is from Pennsylvania and Southern Ohio. (The other half being from Washington DC and Atlantic City, but I digress.) I have felt a connection to the mountains of Appalachia for my entire life. I have yet to climb a mountain, but have wanted to do so since my girlhood. And I say this because I am sure there are other people here who share that sentiment. (I know you ALL aren’t from the East Coast :p).
This is unforgivable, inexcusable, and shameful.
(Cross-posted at The Confluence)