Front Porch Blog

Mountain Mondays v 1.0: Becoming the Media

Appalachian Voices and are helping to spear-head an effort to stop mountaintop removal by working with small local blogs from around the country, the success of which is based on the participation of the blogging community and of new journalists like YOU. To supplement the organizing going on in the coalfields, we have instituted the “Bloggers Challenge.”

Over 230 people have already participated in the iLoveMountains Bloggers Challenge, and every Monday, we will come here to highlight their work and ask you to participate in the bloggers challenge by writing a post on mountaintop removal this week.

1) Featured Blogs for the week of June 23-30:…

Kevin at Bartoy wrote a piece called “George Bush doesn’t care about Appalachia“.

…In my opinion, Kanye West didn’t go far enough with his statement.

The truth of the matter is that George Bush doesn’t care about poor people and neither do most Americans.

Sound crazy?

Well, take a close look at the rape of Appalachia and tell me that my statement isn’t true.

You see, in 2002, the Bush Administration changed a single word in the Clean Water Act to help out their wealthy cronies in the mining industry. And, that single word has literally moved mountains. I suppose that it hasn’t so much moved them as it has blasted them off the face of the Earth….

Over at Little Green Animals we have What Coal Means to the Mountain

Mountaintop removal coal mining is an extremely destructive form of strip mining found throughout Appalachia, with some mines as big as the island of Manhattan. Coalfield residents say that it tears apart communities, destroys any chance of economic development, poisons water supplies, pollutes the air and destroys our nation’s natural heritage – while only making the climate crisis worse.

Here’s what Wendell Berry has to say about the coal industry — an industry that so far, no presidential candidate has turned her or his back on:

“The only limits so far honored by this industry have been technological. What its machines have enabled it to do, it has done. And now, for the sake of the coal under them, it is destroying whole mountains with their forests, water courses and human homeplaces.

Over at, Denny Gives us America’s Mountain Majesty at Risk.

…advocates for the mountains and coalfield residents today launched a new series of online videos showing the looming danger to some of America’s most special places: the Appalachian mountains, which are home to a vibrant and indelible culture, stunning biodiversity and enormous economic potential….

Britt Bravo over at HaveFunDoGood gives us a great entry with Blogger’s Challenge (You Can Help If You Aren’t a Blogger Too!)

That’s why came up with the What’s My Connection tool. It allows you to type in your zip code and see how you are connected to mountaintop removal.

For example, when I type in my zip code in Oakland, CA, it tells me, “Your electricity provider, Pacific Gas Electric Co., buys coal from companies engaged in mountaintop removal.”

Over at WVBackwoods Drifter, Denny again drops probably my favorite quote from the bloggers challenge so far.

Using mountaintop removal coal for energy is akin to using drug money to buy girl scout cookies. It may seem like a good thing in the end but no matter what, you can’t get past where it comes from.

A must read over at CorinaCorina called Fossil = DoDo = Fossil (coal = coal = coal)

My father was a coal miner, but not before he was a logger. He lived the paradox of loving the trees and the woods of his youth, relished his work with the men who were clearing the trees to make way for new towns.. Then came the war, World War II, every 10th man sent down the mine, and down the mine he went for 5 long years. Long years to a young man who lived outdoors but no comparison to the coal miners who spent all the decades of their working lives underground and carried the legacy in their lungs, with all the respiratory distress that goes with digging coal.

All this lit up in me when this “true cost of coal” came over my desk this morning. The trauma of the coal industry’s demise in England can still be keenly felt. But here, once again, the externalized cost of extracting coal is as real as when it was the lungs of men; now it is literally laid bare on the land as the coal-extracting techniques have scaled up to the ‘might’ to remove mountains, and the land is scraped bare and black as the lungs of our fathers, exposed for all to see.

Over at, Kate is leading the way for y’all non-easterners with I Love Mountains:

Although (or maybe because) I’m from the Midwest, I love mountains. They’re huge, gorgeous landmarks, and create an amazing landscape – and they’re in danger.

A few sources have led us to – a very cool website that seeks to end mountaintop removal.

From the heart of West Virginia, Ron’s Thots gives us a stunning entry with “The Mountains.” Another absolute must read with great local flavor. we willing to get rid of our mountain friends so that the country can have a cheaper source of energy? I for one am not willing. I for one love these mountains, and I don’t think that I am alone in that love.

When our mountain tops are removed for the coal, and our valleys are filled with the waste we have become little more that a moon-scape. The beauty of our heritage has disappeared. The glory of our mountains are gone forever. The steep mountain valleys become another place for a shopping mall or a parking lot, or worse just a barren pile of rocks and dirt. We are no longer proud Mountaineers, but rather we have been reduced to poor folks who once again took a “screwing” (pardon my slang this day)…

Alex from Connecticut over at ItGettingHotinHere recalls meeting young Appalachian activists fighting mountaintop removal while at Bonaroo, and coming away very impressed, and more than a little engaged in the issue.

t first, I just sat there when they were giving their spiel, because I didn’t feel informed enough about mountaintop removal. However, after hearing these awesome folks do their thing for a day or so, and after talking to them about their campaign, I became more confident. At first I just hooked bypassers (“Hey, have you heard about mountaintop removal?”), then even gave people the full lowdown. I was amazed at the growth I felt over the course of the weekend. I’ve always been nervous talking to people in that way, but just by spending time around folks who were more experienced, I became more confident and was able to contribute something valuable to the movement.

Over at Thinking Outside, we have a great entry on Dr. John Todd’s vision for economic recovery in Appalachia as we move beyond coal.

In the past, efforts at restoration have been geberally localized and at times half-hearted, conducted by the same companies that did the damage in the first place. What’s needed is a systematic plan that works on the same scale as mining itself, setting up a process by which the land air and water are all restored, from the surface to underground waters poisoned by the pollution from mining.

At When All Else Fails…Make a List, fledging journalist Amanda gives us a story of how she got mountaintop removal noticed in her local paper in East Tennessee.

You can put in your zip code and it automatically tells the plant that supplies your power and what mines they purchase coal from.

In this area, our power is supplied by the John Sevier Plant in Hawkins County. The site gave me a map of the various mines that supply the plant. One particular plant in Rawl, West Virginia supplies a large amount of coal to this area. The site features a story about a family who is facing major health problems because of the sludge area behind their home.

And last but not least, Jervey at sustaiNYC gives us NY Loves Mountains and previews an exciting gala event which will be held in downtown NYC next month focusing on ending mountaintop removal.

fascinating site launched recently that lets New Yorkers see what–if any–their connection to mountaintop removal coal mining is. NYLOVESMOUNTAINS is the locally targeted branch of the broader I Love Mountains campaign that draws very direct connections between electricity customers and the Appalachian communities that are effected by mountaintop coal removal.

2) Mountaintop Removal Fact of the Week

Roughly 5% of America’s energy comes from mountaintop removal. The electricity produced by coal from mountaintop removal could be replaced using less than a third of the wind resources in North Dakota OR just 4% of Arizona’s concentrated solar power potential. Theres also good old fashioned conservation and efficiency.

3) Mountain Image of the Week
Appalachian citizen activist and grandfather Ed Wiley, with Vice President Al Gore. Gore says that “mountaintop removal is a crime and ought to be treated like a crime.

4) Appalachian Music of the Week

the everybodyfields of East Tennessee play us Magazines.

5) And for your reading pleasure, check out some of the other great entries in the bloggers challenge.

Y’all git to writin’ on them tubes!






Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment