Front Porch Blog

Al Gore on Mountaintop Removal

[bumped, due to Mr. Gore’s strong showing in a recent New Hampshire primary poll – J-dub]

Hear what one movie director, Vice-President, Senator, and Tennessean thinks about mountaintop removal:

Congrats to our friends at SACE!

Unofficial transcript:

Hi Mr. President…uh…Mr. Gore rather
My name is —–. Im a student at UNC and I work with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

Coal mining here in the Appalachians is destroying our communities. New technology for coal combustion claims to be cleaner, but should we really be promoting this technology while it is so destructive to our land?

A: No. [applause] Not if the coal is removed in a way that destroys the land. I’m really troubled by what’s been going on in parts of West Virginia and Kentucky in particular. Maybe you’ve seen the pictures as I have. Maybe you’ve been there and seen it in person. But often you’ll have one row of hills next to the major highways that people drive on that still look beautiful and pristine and then one row over they cut the tops off mountains, and then they dump the soil and rock in ways that sometimes block up and fill(?) the streams and pollute the streams. Strip-mining is a metaphor but it’s also a reality in its own right, and it stands for an irresponsible approach to unsustainable development. If the coal is removed in a way that enriches the present generation at the expense at the expense of the prospects for all future generations, that’s just plain wrong. In the present generation, we have a responsibility, YOU have a responsibility to insist on ethical behavior in ways that will prevent people who are overwhelmed by greed from going about that in a way that causes lasting harm to all future generations. And that’s been going on in a lot places, and this mountaintop removal is one of the clearest most visible examples of it. There was an economist, I think Herman Daly was the guy who said this years ago. He said “we’re operating planet earth as if it was a business in liquidation”, and the mountaintop removal that you’re talking about is one of the clearest examples of what he meant by that. And we have a responsibility to keep that from happening, so I’m with you all the way.





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