The Last Mountain

The new documentary “The Last Mountain” has been getting a lot of coverage not only in the local papers but nationally as Robert Kennedy Jr., the films narrator, appeared on the Colbert Report yesterday night.  The documentary’s goal is to emphasize the environmental and human impacts of mountain top removal mining (MTR) by focusing on the plight of Coal River Mountain.  Ethically and morally I believe that MTR is wrong and a practice that should be prevented.  This does not mean that I am against other forms of mining coal or coal in general, but the MTR process should be stopped.  There is no reason to destroy God’s handiwork by blowing up mountains and burying valley’s and streams.  The mining could be done in a more traditional manner such as long wall mining which would actually create more jobs for an impoverished region that is bleeding jobs and growing old.  A review in the Atlantic assess the film correctly stating, “There is a tremendous amount of inertia behind coal, not just from the industry itself but also from the public at large. Change on the sort of the scale required to stop mountaintop removal requires expending a tremendous amount of mental energy–from a country more than happy to think about other things.”  The problem is the people most likely to see the film are already convinced that MTR a dangerous practice and it will have a hard time convincing a nation weened on cheap electricity that MTR should be stopped.

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