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Plundering Appalachia: The Tragedy of Mountaintop-Removal Coal Mining [Paperback]

Douglas R Tompkins , Tom Butler , George Wuerthner

Price: £25.67 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deeply disturbing - Because it's supposed to be 4 Oct 2009
By M. Fowler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is not an easy book to look through, or read, not when you realize that an entire people, an entire culture, an entire way of life, is being systematically and deliberately destroyed in the name of quick corporate profit - and that it is happening in the United States of America, in collusion with the regulatory agencies that are supposed to protect our land, air and water for future generations.

I am not a rabid environmentalist - I do not condone blowing up draglines or lying down on haul roads to block coal trucks - but Plundering Appalachia hammers home the point in a brutally direct fashion that an entire region of our country is being turned into a National Energy Sacrifice Zone. It's cheaper and quicker to get at the coal by blasting off the tops of the oldest mountains on the continent and shoving them into the adjacent valleys ... never mind that the coal companies are violating almost every state and federal environmental law on the books with mountaintop removal coal mining (and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection openly admits that if it refused to renew mining permits for coal companies that had outstanding pollution violations, NO mining would take place at all, so it keeps doing it!).

The cost of this "cheap energy" to the people who live in Appalachia is horrific - orange water in their creeks, black water coming out of their bathroom faucets; toxic dust inside and outside their houses; blasts from the mines so strong they crack foundations; shortened lifespans; tremendous floods where none ever occurred before because the mountaintop removal mining strips bare all the vegetation; entire valleys and towns that are slowly consumed by the relentless march of the draglines and the bulldozers ... the list goes on.

Yes, America needs electricity to maintain its standard of living. But after reading Plundering Appalachia, any rational person should think the cost of getting it through mountaintop removal mining is too high.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book About A Shameful Practice 28 Dec 2009
By G. FitzGerald - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Since becomming aware of and outraged at the practice of mountaintop removal coal mining about twelve years ago, while doing research for my novel The Pie Man I have read books, articles and hundreds of website pages about this heartbreaking issue. The marvelous photography and the plaintive, intelligent essays of "Plundering Appalachia" tell the story magnificently -- it is a book every American should read.

The critical point that "Plundering Appalachia" so wonderfully makes is that mountaintop removal coal mining is much more than just an evironmental crime and ecological tragedy. The colonization of Appalachia and the creation of a sacrificial energy dead zone, is a social and political injustice that Americans everywhere should be outraged at. Nowhere but in Appalachia would we stand for the blasting away of mountain tops and filling the valleys, covering the streams,releasing toxic minerals, poisoning the groundwater and displacing local residents and making communities inhabitable. It wouldn't happen in California, or Vermont, or in the Catskills, or anywhere outside of Appalachia, where the coal industry has been sucking out the wealth for a hundred years, keeping the people poor and powerless.

"Plundering Appalachia" is a beautiful, insightful and important book that every American Congressman and Senator should read and then ask themselves "how was this ever permitted to happen?"
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS A CRIME AGAINST MOTHER NATURE 9 Feb 2011
By D. Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD BE AWARE OF WHAT IS HAPPENING IN APPALACHIA. IT HAS AN AFFECT ON THE ENTIRE COUNTRY NOT JUST THOSE OF US WHO LIVE HERE, THIS SO CALLED MOUNTAIN MINING DOES NOT CREATE JOBS FOR MINERS IT CREATES TEMPORARY JOBS FOR HEAVY EQUIPMENT OPERATORS AND GREAT PROFITS FOR THE COAL BARONS AND A BIT MORE "FLAT" LAND FOR WAL MART AND MCDONALDS AND OTHER PURVEYORS OF FAST, UNHEALTHY FOOD FOR AN AREA THAT ALREADY SUFFERS FROM POOR NUTRITION, OBESITY, DIABETES AND OTHER FOOD RELATED AILMENTS.LOOK AT, READ THIS WORK, THEN ACT TO SAVE A PART OF YOUR COUNTRY.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! Pictures really show the devastation of the mountains. 30 Sep 2010
By MTMcKenney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Pictures are definitely worth a thousand words, in this case, words can't describe the devastation that goes on in the mountains of Appalachia. This book combines amazing and thought provoking photography with well written articles and stories by authors and locals who have experienced the dramatic effects that MTR coal mining has had on their lives. Must READ and SEE for anyone wanting to know more about MTR.
5.0 out of 5 stars CRY, the BELOVED COUNTRY ... 30 July 2013
By jacketchmson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
would that a picture was worth a thousand words: the abomination that is mountain top removal and "fracking" would cease!!! black will NEVER be the new 'green' -not enough dollars, jobs or fantasy PR/spin can make it alright for the 99% of us who'll live & die on this planet while the 1% shuttle off to another.
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