In honor of Earth Day, I thought I would share a little about the practice of mountaintop removal. I just finished an Environmental Science class in college. I didn't know much about mountaintop removal before taking this class. Our textbook just briefly described the practice, and that was enough to peak my interest. As a hiker, and as a wannabe Appalachian trail thruhiker (hopefully one day), I don't want to see the Appalachian mountains ruined. I decided to do my final research project on this very subject.
For those who don't know what mountaintop removal is, let me share a brief description of the process. The first step is to remove everything off the top of the mountain, including trees and plants. The debris is dumped over the side of the mountain into the valley. Next the coal company drills holes into the mountain and fills the holes with explosives. This process is done to remove the rock and the earth in order to reach the coal. The last step is for coal companies to get rid of the waste disposal left after the coal is extracted. This waste is often dumped into abandoned underground mines or areas close to the mountaintop removal site. This process might sound simple enough, but it is causing huge problems. Ecosystems are being destroyed, dust and particles are polluting the air, and headwater streams are being polluted. Also, drinking water is becoming poisoned, wells are drying up, fish are being killed, and foundations are cracking (because of the explosives).
Unfortunately, as the demand for electricity increases, the demand for coal also increases. Because the demand of coal is increasing, the practice of mountaintop removal is increasing.
I do believe that I have a responsibility to care for the earth in which God created for me to live on as my temporary home. I personally have a responsibility to not only voice my concern to what this practice is doing to the earth, but also to look at how I'm contributing to the problem. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are a wasteful country. We use natural resources as if they will always be available. Unfortunately, at the rate we are using our resources, it might not be true. How do I personally contribute to this problem? I keep lights on even when I'm not using them; I keep the tv on even when I'm not watching it; and I keep chargers plugged in all the time. So, truthfully, I am also to blame for the mountaintop removal problem.
Let's begin to think about how we are treating the temporary home we live in. After all, we have to live here until Jesus comes back.
Here is a video about mountaintop removal: