The Problem with Environmentalism in Appalachia

Great blog post. The same thing is happening in every environmental and social justice effort — and most political ones — that I’ve been involved with. We all need to figure this one out and learn how to hear each other and work together.

Thoughts of a Coal Miner

June 2009 Hundreds of people on both sides of the mountaintop removal issue gather along W.Va. 3outside Massey Energy’s Goals Coal Co. processing and shipping plant. Gazette photo by Chris Dorst.

I tend get flak from both sides of the argument surrounding coal. Environmentalists distance themselves from me because I am often critical of them, and some even hate me these days. Pro-coal folks tend to dislike me for my stance against coal companies. It only goes to show that telling the truth has never been popular, or easy.

So let’s get to it.

Coal mining families are not very receptive to environmentalists—and that’s putting it lightly. Why should they be? In what way have environmentalists approached coal mining families over the past two decades? In what way have environmentalists presented themselves to the public?

Though most environmentalists have their hearts in the right place when it comes to helping…

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