Front Porch Blog

Al Gore and His Thoughts on Mountain Top Removal

“Mountaintop mining is an atrocity. It is an outrage. My wife Tipper and I give out an award at the Nashville Film Festival every year for best documentary on these environmental issues. This year’s winner was called “Mountaintop mining” (actually, Mr. Gore, that is “Mountain Top Removal”). I learned more about it from that movie. What they do, you all know, they just chop off… then dump the detritus, the rock and the dirt, into the creeks and it just poisons the whole ecosystem. It is part and parcel of the same dysfunctional energy system that is causing global warming. It is also facilitated by the same moral blindness to the consequences of what we’re doing. And by the way it’s all being done in an automated way, and that’s why the coal miners lost all their jobs. When we make this transition to renewable fuels we have to keep them in mind; we ought to guarantee a good job in the fresh air and sunshine for every single coal miner who has been affected by the transition over to renewable fuels. One final point…The idea of turning coal into liquid fuels for our cars it’s, it’s insane. And here is why: it is true that if you looked only at the dependence of the United States on foreign oil and if you didn’t care about anything else in the world, it would be theoretically possible, at huge expense, to squeeze liquid out of coal and put it into gas tanks. It would be enormously expensive. But the other problem is it would vastly increase the amount of CO2 from each gallon of fuel that is burned. We’ve got to walk and chew gum at the same time. We’ve got to end our dependence on foreign oil and save the habitability of the planet by switching not just from oil to coal-to-liquid, but from fossil fuels to renewable energy.:Mountaintop mining is an atrocity. It is an outrage. My wife Tipper and I give out an award at the Nashville Film Festival every year for best documentary on these environmental issues. This year’s winner was called “Mountaintop mining” (actually, Mr. Gore, that is “Mountain Top Removal”). I learned more about it from that movie. What they do, you all know, they just chop off… then dump the detritus, the rock and the dirt, into the creeks and it just poisons the whole ecosystem. It is part and parcel of the same dysfunctional energy system that is causing global warming. It is also facilitated by the same moral blindness to the consequences of what we’re doing. And by the way it’s all being done in an automated way, and that’s why the coal miners lost all their jobs. When we make this transition to renewable fuels we have to keep them in mind; we ought to guarantee a good job in the fresh air and sunshine for every single coal miner who has been affected by the transition over to renewable fuels. One final point…The idea of turning coal into liquid fuels for our cars it’s, it’s insane. And here is why: it is true that if you looked only at the dependence of the United States on foreign oil and if you didn’t care about anything else in the world, it would be theoretically possible, at huge expense, to squeeze liquid out of coal and put it into gas tanks. It would be enormously expensive. But the other problem is it would vastly increase the amount of CO2 from each gallon of fuel that is burned. We’ve got to walk and chew gum at the same time. We’ve got to end our dependence on foreign oil and save the habitability of the planet by switching not just from oil to coal-to-liquid, but from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”

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