There’s just one question I’d like you to ask yourself today. It’s “What the hell are they doing in Spurlockville, West Virginia and why is it turning everything downstream of it brown?”
I’m not really interested in talking about global warming in terms of the environment. It’s become a distraction–arguing about whether it exists and whether it’s manmade. Who cares? The truth is that we are too dependant on foreign oil (a.) and (b.) we’re too dependant on fossil fuels in general. People die pulling coal out of the ground. Look at what’s going on in Spurlock and tell me that whatever’s killing stuff downstream is not seeping into the people nearby.
We need to better manage and conserve our environment and the things in it because we are the things in it. If we build a culture so toxic to frogs and fish and birds and such that they die off, that’s the canary in the coal mine (so to speak).
A lot of the ugliest stuff that gets done to our environment gets done where few people with any power have to see it. This is one reason we need to enlist outdoorsy people of all sorts–from hikers to hunters–to be on the lookout for stuff. They go where most of us don’t. They talk to people who traditionally have no voice.
Being environmentally aware is just smart self-interest. And being able to back up that awareness with a government that can force changes in industrial practices (see how we circle back to plank one?) is paramount in that.
I remember researching mountain top removal with SuperMousey for her 4H speech. When regular people actually see the aftermath of this practice, they literally recoil in horror. It is possibly the ugliest business I’ve ever seen.
That said, coal may be yet another resource we can use until we develop cheaper ways to harness sunlight, and I have no problem with the fact that mine work is dangerous. Building freeways, railroads, and dams is quite dangerous, and people died, but the to try and make the excavation “safe” leads to ideas like MTR.
I’m no fan of coal, but coal mining could be made safer, if the mine owners, didn’t make the rules, this is just another place this administration has let the fox guard the hen house.
Yep. A lot of the environmental (and social) problems we’re having currently could be drastically slowed by doing this pretty much everywhere. Holding companies to (already existing, implemented successfully in other places, not really all that hard in the grand scheme of things) standards and not letting them buy up the people making the rules gives you cleaner air (because it’s not like we don’t have efficiencies all up and down the fuel spectrum), safer environments for workers, and less damage to all of us.
It doesn’t solve the underlying problems, of course, which are as much technological and chemical as they are social… but it would give us more time to solve them and cut the amount of damage that needs to be fixed.