Wired Magazine has an excellent look at the devastating realities of mountaintop mining on their front page today. It's a subject that's been discussed more than once here at HS, and should be of interest to just about everybody who lives in Appalachia.
The article presents a harrowing examination of mining's effects on our communities and ecosystems. I think this single quote alone hammers home a very immediate point:
The EPA estimates that at least 2,300 square miles of forest -- an area the size of Delaware -- will be lost by 2010.
That land is not being reforested. In fact, most of the abandoned mining land from the last few decades has been reclaimed by shrub growth and grasses rather than the essential hardwoods. You don't have to think hard for the math to make you uncomfortable - in a little over two years from now, we will have lost enough hardwood forest to fill the state of Delaware.
There is no excuse for that kind of environmental abuse - and you don't have to be a conservationist to realize it.
Take a moment to read the article and examine the photographic evidence. Maybe it's time the Hillbilly Savants community put our collective efforts into a little Congressional lobbying.