Monday, April 5, 2010

Another day in the mines

I have spent the evening reading about the latest mining tragedy. Sorry, I had a whole list of things ot bitch about......and I'll get to it eventually. And the last thing I want to do is get political but WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?

This is horrible. It makes my stomach hurt, to think about it. Part of my distress is that I am not exactly clear why, in this day and age, we still HAVE mines. Do we really need coal? Can't we use solar and wind and water in the place of coal? Coal just seems to be such a crappy product. Coal itself is a pollutant in pretty much every way, and the land where they mine it is a complete wasteland when they are done. With the water sources containated, the trees cut down, the wildlife gone...........there is just nothing left. And for what?

But it's not just that - though that is certainly enough.

My concern tonight is the miners who are dead, and injured, and the ones still missing in some godforsaken hole in the ground with no air or light. If we DO have mines, why are they still so dangerous? With the advances in building materials, safety equipment and the cumulative experiences of past catastrophes........why are people still dying in mines?

The coal industry is insidious. It has worked it's way into manufacturing, so that everything we buy has some connection to coal and coal is frequently used to power energy plants that produce our electricity. So while the very last thing I want to do is support the mining and dependence upon coal, I can't figure out how to eliminate it from my life. I would have to sit around naked under a palm tree drinking coconut water and eating free-range chicken eggs in order to eliminate all paper, power and production touched by coal.

I just can't continue to accept mining as a reasonable industry. I cannot think of one single positive thing connected to coal mining. I can't. Not one thing.

Here is an article I read about coal mining and it's aftermath. I read it several years ago, and it still haunts me.
And here is an information sheet about coal.

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