The REAL Costs of Coal – Mountaintop Removal Mining Film and Discussion

Mountain Top Removal Documentary by Haw River

Discussion with Pam and Lan Richart, Eco-Justice Collaborative
Sponsored by the Environmental Footprint Committee of the Ethical Humanist Society of Greater Chicago

April 30, 2010, 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM
7574 Lincoln Avenue
Skokie, IL

We know that the burning of coal pollutes the air we breath, the water we drink, and significantly contributes to climate change.  Yet our policy makers – and even our President – tell us that there is such a thing as “clean” coal.  We’re told that with the right technologies, these impacts can be substantially reduced.  But what they don’t tell us is how much more energy is required for these new technologies, or that one form of pollution is often substituted for another.  Nor do they tell us that there are old, polluting coal-fired power plants that are not likely to be retrofitted with these technologies because of cost.

And what about the extraction process?  What impacts are borne by those who live in Appalachia, where coalfield residents find themselves surrounded by toxic pollution and destruction as mountain tops are literally “blown off”?  Or … can the practice of longwall mining taking place in the Midwest and eastern states, deliberately dropping the land by 4 to 6 feet or more be called “clean”?

First, we’ll gather to watch the 74-minute documentary highlighting mountaintop removal and citizen activism by Haw River. After a short break, we’ll reconvene to talk about the film with Pam and Lan Richart, who recently led a summer delegation to Coal River Valley, WV (the area featured in this film) and a fall delegation to south-central Illinois to witness the impacts of longwall mining.  In addition to the impacts of coal extraction, we’ll also learn about:

  • Campaigns by the coal companies that target politicians and residents alike that continue to keep our country rooted in coal, despite the impacts.
  • Why we cannot afford to rely on coal as energy solution.
  • Real alternatives to coal that can be carried out today.
  • The newly launched campaign to clean up or close down Chicago’s two old, polluting coal-fired power plants located on Chicago’s southwest side.

For more information, contact Pam or Lan Richart, 773.556.3417 or the Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago at: 847.677.3334.

About The Fim

Throughout southern Appalachia Mountain Top Removal coal mining is on the rise blasting and leveling highland forests and streams. The process literally changes the geology of the region. Citizens negatively impacted by the resulting flooding, pollution, and destruction of their homes are fighting back to oppose big coal’s impact on their lives and communities.

For more information, contact Pam or Lan Richart, 773.556.3417 or the Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago at: 847.677.3334.

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