I was sitting at a Conservation Commission meeting when the guy from National Coal said something to the effect that outlawing any coal mining activity that would damage stream quality would be a "Taking of the first order"...
I thought about that... Who owns the natural state of the world?
You know...the "healthy" one?
Bill, the Coal Lobbyist, seems to think that his company "Owns" the right to destroy water quality and preventing them from doing that would be one of those "Takings" often spoken of by the folks who think the right to make money trumps the right to a healthy world.
He claims righteousness for his Corporation because they aren't going to dump nearly as much acid mining run-off into the New River in Tennessee as those other guys. I guess he doesn't want the fact that the water quality result he advocates would pretty much mess up the river once again. I say "again" because the New River is a success story in recovery. Most of the time, if you just quit doing the things that are ruining the planet, the Planet, that would be Earth in this case, will quit being ruined.
This is the case with the New, even though the black sand on it's shores is coal dust, still leached into the watershed by coal mining. Looking at the info I was given, it looks like the coal industry is steadily eliminating its labor force with new processes. 100,000 jobs lost in the last few decades. Strip mining uses big machines and fewer workers. It is also freaking devastating to the environment...takes about 50 years for a reasonable recovery to the point that water running off the mined land is no longer detrimental to stream quality.
But somebody can make a lot of money if they can mine coal without having to worry about polluting everything downstream of their mines. It's about the money. It is so much easier to make money if you can forget about the obligation of maintaining a healthy planet. Of course, without a healthy planet, some living things get sick and some of them die. Human beings would fit into the "some living things" category.
Wealthy and Dead is not a desirable state, in my personal opinion. Too bad corporate lackeys seem to think it's an ok thing. It actually isn't "righteousness" they are interested in, by the way...the correct term would be...
And I suppose they have it.
It will take a bit of courage to take back this Mighteousness for the real people who should have it.
That would be us!