Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sundial, West Virginia

Mountain destruction is one of the biggest problems facing the Appalachian region.  However, this problem is not part of some natural erosive process; it is entirely caused by the work of humans.  In fact, a handful of people have the power to put a stop to it right now if they wanted, but they aren't going to.

Mountaintop removal is a method of coal mining where the top of a mountain is blasted off in order to give cheap and easy access to coal seams.  The overburden material is then typically dumped in a valley or tossed back onto the remaining mountain as a pile of rubble.  As long as coal is in high demand, and no legislation is passed to end this practice, it will go on.

Not only is mountaintop removal an incredibly dangerous source of pollution (with coal dust and overburden being dumped at stream headwaters), but it is also a devastating loss of an iconic mountain system.  More and more people everyday have to watch as the mountains around their homes and towns are left in ruin, leaving a dirty, flattened wasteland where there was once a beautiful landscape.

April 23, 1996

December 31, 2002

June 07, 2009
If you want to help stop mountaintop removal, you can follow the "More info" link below.

You can find it yourself on Google Earth using these coords:     37°54'16.10"N      81°33'16.39"W

Check back next week to see devastation by wildfire.