The Natural Resources Defense Council may have struck upon one of the best ways to fight mountaintop removal coal mining: make it socially unacceptable.
After taking Bank of American executives on a helicopter tour of mountaintop removal sites, the NRDC convinced the bank to stop funding such projects. In an atmosphere where Bush is implementing all sorts of new rules allowing for mountaintop removal to expand and dump its soils into rivers and creeks around southern Appalachia, new, aggressive strategies are necessary. This is such a reprehensible practice and the only way it survives is because nobody sees the incredible damage to the landscape it causes. If you can take away the funding for these projects by exposing people in power to these hellish operations, you can go a long ways toward putting a stop to it.
Kudos to both the NRDC and Bank of America on this one.
Also, the coal company response is classic:
[A]s all the activists who so eloquently and passionately speak of the ills of coal and mountaintop mining get up in the morning, drink their hot coffee, eat some toast, blow dry their hair while watching the morning news, attend their meetings in a room with lights and warm heat and write to their representatives on laptops and computers while calling others on their charged cellphones, please remember who provides the electricity. It is provided by coal.
You could have used the exact same arguments to defend slavery. The clothes you wear, the jobs you have--all happen because of slavery. Yes, energy is needed, just as people to pick cotton was needed. But that doesn't mean you have to use inhuman or apocalyptic environmental methods to make it happen.