The faces of Earthjustice's Mountain Heroes, those courageous people from the coalfields whose lives are afflicted by mountaintop removal mining and who are standing up against it, are now staring down politicians in Congress and their staffs, as well as White House and agency staff, reminding them that they are allowing this abuse to continue.
News that the EPA may delay the coal ash rule until the end of 2012 or even 2013 will come as a bitter disappointment to communities across the United States. Many had faith in Administrator Jackson’s promise that this Administration would finally issue effective controls on toxic ash disposal in 2010.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a new guidance that will restore protections to waterways that are currently the dumping grounds for industrial polluters. The “Clean Water Framework” is a huge deal for the millions of Americans who depend on this water for drinking.
Well, it's true that here on a blog, the currency is words. We're supposed to tell stories through our prose. But today I'm going to go easy on the blog and yield the storytelling to a small collection of witty, beautiful, foot-stomping and surreal art by people who are mastering other mediums to talk about mountaintop removal mining:
(Kari Birdseye is the new National Press Secretary for Earthjustice. An 11-year veteran with CNN, she was comforted by the familiar, hectic pace she experienced in her first week with Earthjustice communications.)
What a week. What a first week at work for Earthjustice. Even before I entered the doors, I knew the Gulf Oil Spill anniversary and Earth Day promised to expiate my learning curve.
Coming from an Irish family and working for Earthjustice, I have an affection for green that is DNA-deep. But, I know the difference between the green of nature and the green of greed -- and nowhere is that difference so starkly obvious as in Florida. An explosion of green algae slime, fed by uncontrolled agricultural and sewage runoff, is taking over that state's famed waterways. It's murdering fish by the thousands, stinking up the air, fouling everything it touchs, and preventing recreation use.
Today—Earth Day—I was trying to figure out what kind of angle to write about, when I remembered a column I wrote last year, reflecting on the first Earth Day in 1970.
What struck me about that column is how it revealed that recycling, which we now take for granted as a cultural and financial institution, didn't exist on any kind of public scale just 41 years ago. The first Earth Day brought about this remarkable social change. Thus, in the spirit of recycling, I offer up last year's column, with its reflections on what it was like when it all began.