See Ecocide Writ Large: NASA Photo Shows Humungous Philippine Coal Mine From Space


photo: NASA (click to see large)
Polly Higgins has been getting more press pushing for 'Ecocide' to be enshrined as an international crime, and now a new photo from NASA really shows what Higgins is talking about: The wholesale destruction of Semirara Island in the Philippines by the Panian Coalfield.The image was taken on March 31st with an 800mm lens from the International Space Station and shows a "rare cloud-free view" of the northern end of Semirara Island.

The Panian coalfield is being mined using open-pit methods. The rock and soil above the coal layers (or seams) is known as overburden. Overburden is removed from the pit and heaped into piles, several of which ring the northern half of the pit. Several of the dark coal seams are visible along the sunlit southern wall of the pit (these may be more visible in the larger image version). Plumes of sediment from the overburden piles enter the Sulu Sea along the northern and eastern coastline of the island.

Coal from the mine is used for electricity generation in the Philippines, as well as being exported to India and China.

More cool NASA photos: Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
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More on Coal:
Massive Underground Coal Fire Started in 1962 Still Burns Today
Coal Plants Do $62 Billion of Damage a Year to US Environment
China's Coal-Burning Cost the Environment $13 Billion Last Year

Tags: Coal | Philippines | Photography