i picked up "lost mountain" ... http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Mountain-Erik-Reece/dp/1594489084 at the "louisville loves mountains" ... festival? theres nothing celebratory about it though.
i cant even begin to summarize what all is going on. with the mountains, the coal, the people. not only in this book, everywhere.
heres a photo story of a lady in tenneessee... http://www.alexblackwelder.com/stories.html
she also keeps a livejournal (the lady, not the photographer, though they may as well.)
i wish i had a mountain, i wish below it there were billions of americans, that didnt witness what goes on in them every day. so i could somehow shout down to them what was happening in our nation.
there are zillions of issues. all with valid reasons for concerns. but right now. somehow, this one peaks for me.
no longer do i think much on the nations eatting habits. our endless war on "terror", stupid "bailouts". i dont worry much about religious insanity, or prejudice. i can hardly think really. its plauging my mind. coal. coal is all i think about.
ill thank my "faith", or lack thereof. the "church" we attend, which of course is only valuable because of those in attendance with us. i think one can learn a lot from UUs, including myself. we saw bumper stickers reading things like "topless mountains are obscene", with no clue what they were referrencing. at some point we saw a flyer somewhere, touching on mountaintop removal, or "strip mining". and i began to peice it together. began being the operative word.
when my church announced a group going to a "rally" in frankfort (the capital) to encourge legislation forcing coal companies to be slightly more responsible, we joyously went. we walked a mile to the capital steps in an attempt to represent all the miles of streams destroyed (if only 1400 people were in attendence.)
durring this rally, listening to people speak, from ashley judd to a young lady that recently moved from an affected area, i learned much more, and came home to continue.
for the first time in my life (that im aware of) i can view the power plant. not only that, but i can see it from the highway, its thick cloud of smoke. i like to think im pretty smart. and i feel confident this stuff cant be good.
i continue to read stories. on the net, in books, from people (those of course involve listening, not reading) and each one tears at my heart.
i am no better than anyone, and anyone no better than me. this earth belongs to each one of us, and beyond. it belongs to the deer, and the snakes, the lady bugs, and the humming birds. even the trees, and carrots, have every right to be here. and sure, its all for the taking, but only take what you can give back. there is no way to give back an entire mountain, no matter how much "energy" provided.
there is no way to give back lives taken by a sludge pond breakage. and id be willing to live in the dark if i thought itd end there.
im small, and im meager. my confidence sits fairly low most days. but im moved. i am brainstorming on how to compile the resources to do a photo documentary on coal. from start (mountains) to finish (power plant) and anyone involved/affected in between.
i long to be as unbiased as i possibly can, while remaining completely raw. draw your own conclussions. just know that knowledge is power.
if you wish to provide ANY form of support in my journey (from spiritual cheerleading, to linking me someone with a first hand encounter, to helping me apply for grants) i would be forever greatful.
although, my only goal with this is to open eyes and minds. i am in no way searching for financial gain.