Coal mining companies in West Virginia are blowing up mountains to get to the coal inside, destroying the surrounding environment and the drinking water in the process. Nearly 1 million acres of forests and some 2,000 miles of streams in West Virginia have been damaged or destroyed during the last two years. The 20 minute documentary Leveling Appalachia: The Legacy of Mountaintop Removal Mining showcases the destructive practice, including the flash floods and the environmental aftereffects caused by the mining companies.
“The impacts are temporary,” say the pro-mining voices interviewed for the film. That’s hard to believe, though, when images of destroyed mountains flash across the screen. The documentary, produced by Yale Environment 360 and MediaStorm, is clearly anti-mountaintop removal, but the producers take pains to interview people from both sides of the debate. It’s hard to have sympathy for the mining companies, however, when locals accuse them of destroying the environment, “with no thought of tomorrow or yesterday.”
For more on someone fighting the mountaintop removal mining, read about Judy Bonds, one of Utne Reader’s 50 visionaries who are changing the world.
Source: Yale Environment 360