Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Help expose the dirty secret of mountaintop removal with an ad on TV

Many Americans still don’t know that many of us get our electricity at the expense of fellow citizens whose communities are being ripped apart by mountain top removal coal mining. That’s why ilovemountains.org has teamed up with Ashley Judd and The Alliance for Appalachia to get the message out to America’s living rooms.

They've put together a powerful new ad that uses President Johnson’s “Daisy Girl” to send the message that mountaintop removal destroys mountains and endangers communities in Appalachia. This war against people and nature is every bit as destructive as any other war being waged to secure and control natural resources, regardless of "collateral damage."

The coal industry has spent billions of dollars to brainwash people into believing that this dirty war is justified. But we've got a little secret of our own. We may not have money power, but we do have people power.

You can grab your piece of that power and start swinging back at the coal industry in three easy steps: watch the ad, share the ad, and then help raise money so that we can raise the stakes!

My friends at iLoveMountains.org have created a widget to give you everything you need to share this important effort on your blogs, Facebook, Twitter – you name it. See the ad and get the widget here.

We also need you to donate. A few dollars from you and a few hundred other allies against the war on Appalachia could help millions of people could learn about mountaintop removal.

Thanks for taking action!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Controversial Ison Rock Ridge mining permit granted

Bad news from friends to the east of me in Virginia...I've pasted their press release below. Click on the headline of this post to see and article by Debra McCown at TriCities.com.You can visit SAMS website here.

For Immediate Release

Jane Branham, 276-679-7505

Hannah Morgan, 276-494-5686

Community is outraged at approval of Ison Rock Ridge surface coal mine permit

Despite pressure from federal agencies and outcry from the local community, the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy has approved the highly controversial Ison Rock Ridge surface coal mine permit surrounding the town of Appalachia. The permit in question would destroy over 1200 acres of land immediately above the town of Appalachia, and would severely impact the communities of Inman, Andover, Derby, Callahan Avenue and Ridge Street in the town of Appalachia. The Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, a community group based in Wise County, has been fighting this permit since 2007.

“This is another permit being railroaded by regulatory agencies without regard to the mass public outcry,” said Jane Branham, Vice-President of SAMS. “We have significant concerns about the impact of this permit on our local waterways, our community and quality of life for those of us who live in the shadow of this permit.”

Even though the Environmental Protection Agency has signaled increased action to reduce water pollution from surface mines, state agencies, coal corporations and even local representatives are pushing ahead with plans for new surface mine permits that would cause unprecedented water pollution. Growing concerns from the medical, scientific and regulatory communities focus on the impact of mine waste on drinking and recreational water, and on the cumulative impact on already impaired streams.

In a ruling issued by the Environmental Protection Agency on April 1, 2010, the agency announced that effects from surface mine permits would be restricted based on conductivity levels of streams impacted by upstream surface mining. According to figures from the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, conductivity readings on the streams immediately downstream from the Ison Rock Ridge permit are already heavily impacted by surface mining. The DMME’s records show conductivity readings at the two receiving streams, Looney Creek and Callahan Creek, are 59% higher than the EPA’s new rules require. They suggest streams and watersheds severely impacted by heavy metals, sediment, and other toxic effects of mining waste being dumped in headwater streams.

“This is good example of them not caring about the people and taking care of the people,” said Sam Broach, President of SAMS. “They’re not looking out for the safety of the people and environment, and they’re going to blast this mountain despite the federal rules. Basically, we’re going to keep up the fight. We’re not quitting here. They only care about the bottom dollar, and we care about the future of our community.”

SAMS opposes the surface mine permit at Ison Rock Ridge for the danger it poses to nearby communities Appalachia, Inman, Derby and Andover. SAMS is concerned about the impacts of mining activity on nearby streams that have already exceeded acceptable levels of pollution from mine discharge, and believes this permit to be a violation of the Clean Water Act.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gotta get back on the (red) road again...

Check out this awesome series of videos: Wisdomkeepers.

Wisdomkeepers are the guardians of nature's mysteries within the Lakota ceremonies and their practices, the medicine that is ruled by them, the songs that infuse our senses and our spiritual body, and the forces they produce that are identical to nature and its motivating power. These oral and entirely spontaneous transmissions, given by the three holy men, Joe Flying By, Dave Chief, and Leroy Curley, are a rare treasure of the highest generosity, directed for the greatest good. Their stories are told with complete equanimity, vividly conveying, without rancor or judgement, how Western civilization lacks connection to the natural world. Because passing on elders' wisdom in the oral tradition to the next generation is almost impossible, given the fact that the three important elements of the Lakota culture--the land, the people, and the language--are all but gone, the film's producer/director has provided a great service to those who have an interest in, and wish to learn from, ancient Native American teachings that have rarely been exposed.

Producer/Director: Ora Abel-Russell

Still here in the holler...

I'm still trying to figure out the best way to manage all of my blogs. Sometimes I think I have too many to get back to on a regular basis -- like this one -- but I like to follow many of the others at Blogger. So, I edited the appearance, adopted some different widgets, and am trying out the newer editor...and will stay awhile, hoping to be more consistent with posting.