Find Out Your Personal Connection to Mountaintop Removal
From toxic coal ash slurry to annoying clean coal greenwash ads, it’s fair to say that the coal industry has never been a favorite of TreeHuggers. But if anything sums up the sheer brutish ugliness of our fossil fuel addiction for me, it just has to be the horrors of mountaintop removal - the idiotic practice of basically removing the top of a mountain, and scooping out what’s inside. Sadly, by simply writing this post my computer and I are complicit in the destruction of some prestine natural areas. Now you can find out if you are too – and what you can do to assuage your guilt.
By visiting ILoveMountains.org you can enter your ZIP code, and find out whether your utility uses coal that is extracted through mountaintop removal. Here’s what it showed up for me:
You are connected to mountaintop removal. Your electricity provider, Duke Energy Corporation, uses coal from mountaintop removal mines. The story of Glen Alum Mountain, West Virginia, is one of many that are connected to the power plants on your grid, which are marked on the map below. The mountaintop removal mines shown in red are connected to the nearest coal power plant on your grid: Dan River, operated by Duke Power Co.
Perhaps most powerfully, the site uses Google maps and Google Earth to show you your physical proximity to the mines and power plants you are connected to, and the communities that border such sites. And of course, it also gives you a list of actions to take to stop the madness, including signing an online petition, lobbying government, and telling your power company to end mountaintop removal.
This is a great use of the internet to illustrate our personal connection to environmental destruction. Now excuse me while I go switch off some lights.