[-empyre-] dealing with the present tides in affairs of listed states & company

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Mon Mar 27 10:23:36 AEDT 2017


On Sat, 25 Mar 2017, simon wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> It is interesting, to me, what you say, Renate, about the "chance to wait and 
> perhaps go back at a later time" in the light of Johannes's 
> predictables--leading somewhere--and perhaps missing the retrofitted loco of 
> linear history or listserv discussion. Why not sit this one out? This thread, 
> this post, this presidential tenure?
>

Since we have literally undeafening silence, I'd like to reply here.
To "sit this one out" is not an option. Or it is, if one doesn't mind the 
unraveling of over a century of social and environmental legislation.
You can't reverse engineer the destruction of species and biomes. You 
can't undo the effects of fossil fuels, particularly if coal is brutally 
resurrected. West Virginia is one of the largest producers of coal in the 
country. Soft coal, dirtier than anthracite, which has pretty much run dry 
elsewhere. As of ten years ago, when I was researching the issue, WV coal 
countries had mountain-topped 423 mountains in the state. That means 
literally blowing up the top of the mountain to get at the coal seams, and 
sending the refuse into the surrounding small valleys (hollers). These 
hollers contain some of the highest percentage of endangered species in 
the world, because they're isolated from one another. Whole towns were 
destroyed, without recompense because miners didn't own the mineral rights 
under their places. Look at google maps of the state to get an idea of the 
destruction.

This stuff won't come back. The mountain environment is replaced, when it 
is replaced, by meadowland, somewhat good for deer, but nothing else. And 
of course the environment is decimated - not only locally, but with the 
pollution carried by coal-burning. I'm from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 
north of WV, in the heart of what was anthracite country. In the 1950s, 
coal-burning created five times the density of New York City's pollution.

This stuff isn't going to stay local by the way; pollution carries 
world-wide; Chinese aerosols etc. are found over North America.

Most of the larger sea animals are endangered. Jellyfish (which I quite 
like) are doing well, probably some phytoplankton as well. But if you look 
at coral reefs - not only Australia's, but, say those in the South China 
Sea - they're dying rapidly - the latter as a result, not so much climate 
change as China's militarization of the atolls.

So how exactly should we sit this one out? It's obviously an easy solution 
- do nothing etc. - but at least in the US, this environmental and 
militaristic mess is seen as a _global crisis,_ not just something that 
worries hipsters in Brooklyn.

- Alan


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