What Remains After the Continued Leveling of Appalachia

e360 video The Leveling of Appalachia

Click to view the Leveling Appalachia: The Legacy
of Mountaintop Removal Mining

One of the most advanced eco-systems in the world is being systematically destroyed as we speak leaving behind more devastation than the Exxon Valdez and Three Mile Island according to a recent video by Yale Environment 360. With the bombing reverberations of a war zone in the background, a recent Yale Environment 360 video documents the Appalachia communities hit hard by the terrors of mountaintop removal mining. The 20 minute video takes you through the palpable heartbreak felt by those effected by mountaintop removal mining in southern West Virginia and Kentucky as well as the unforgivable destruction that it's doing to the eco-system.

An Appalachia Eco-System in Dire Straits
It seems common sense that blowing up a mountain would have consequences for the eco-system but even still what the movie referred to as the "rape of Appalachia" continues. Already about 2,000 miles of spring channels have been filled with the debris left over after mountains are blown up. The coal mining industry is currently setting off 3.5 million pounds of dynamite a day according to the video, with no end in sight. And for the world as a whole mountaintop removal's impact is more than a minor dilemma. Its carbon output is massive and as we destroy one of the most productive forests in the world, we can no longer depend on it for carbon capture.

More: Yale Environment 360
More on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining:
EPA to Regulate Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining More Stringently
EPA Reviews Permits for 79 Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Operations
Bush Admin Expands Mountaintop Coal Mining

Related Content on Treehugger.com