Coal mining? No. Fertilizer production in China
Looks like mountain-top removal, but it's a waste dump... next to a villageThere are many industries that do tremendous environmental damage yet remain out of the spotlight, especially in countries like China where environmental protection is just starting to truly get going (though it might accelerate now that pollution is the #1 cause of social unrest in the country). One of these very polluting activities is fertilizer production; the activists at Greenpeace East Asia have begun documenting the damage caused by phosphate fertiliser production in China's Sichuan province, and it isn't pretty.
Check out this great video (it's sub-titled in English):
Analysis of phosphogypsum samples revealed levels of fluoride, a potentially hazardous substance, above Chinese national limits for hazardous wastes at several of the sites investigated. At one site, where a 20-metre high waste pile is located next to a village, levels of fluoride found in leachate (a fluid that comes from the phospogypsum waste) were seven times above the limits. (source)
What we really need are sustainable agriculture practices that don't require all this crap...