Mountain top Mining

I am not even really sure if you can call it mining. It is literally blowing the tops off of mountains and then extracting from it.

Mountain Top Removal Mining @ Wikipedia

I had never really heard of this until I happened to be browsing around in Google Earth. This is truly amazing destruction. It is also amazing that it is happening so close to here and that I have never heard a single thing about it. You would think that it would be on the news at least once. Actually, it seems like it would be news a lot.

This video shows a lot of what is going on and if you ignore the Christian's “Against God” and the tendency to get a little “Mother Earthy” it is seriously disturbing how much damage they are doing to this area.

This is increasingly sad given that we need to be getting away from burning coal anyway. generates far less problems and waste than coal and does far less damage to the environment. More people have been killed in coal accidents and disasters than have ever been killed due to nuclear power, yet we continue to destroy the world on the frontend and the backend of coal. We tear up the environment to get the coal and then we destroy the environment by burning the coal.

It is time to start building new nuclear reactors and stop supporting this wanton destruction. Do you know there hasn't been a new nuclear reactor since the 70's? Despite are dramatic increase in power consumption. While the French are almost entirely nuclear, except for a percentage that is wind. Why have we let a country that we think so little of get so far ahead of us in something so important?

And if anyone wants to complain about waste from nuclear plants and how it lasts forever, please read about Blackwater and its impoundment which is a product of coal mining which is highly toxic, produced in far greater amounts and can never be returned to the environment. Also there are no known deaths due to nuclear waste spills while there were 125 people killed in ONE spill of .

You can read more about this at

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9 Responses to Mountain top Mining

  1. maxx says:

    coal generates revenue for existing companies, who pay lobbyists to keep stoking peoples fear of nuclear power. as long as this bogeyman is in place we wont see changes in the no nuke policy. forget france, iran will have nuke power in greater quantities than we do and sooner. apparently allah didnt weigh in on nukes but christ made the time.

    most americans like nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, so clearly this is not a lack of faith in the technology itself. just a combination of lobbyists, religious zealots and shareholders colluding in the rape of natural resources.

  2. KY Dave says:

    I think the Bush Administration has already changed the policies on Nukes. There are applications for 29 new reactors at 20 facilities in the USA currently.

    IMO – A deadly mistake!

    There isn’t a safe nuclear power plant in the world. At any moment an earthquake could wreak havoc with any of them. They are also terrorist bullseyes. They just haven’t painted them with the actual icon yet. How do we rid ourselves of the spent fuel rods? Their ‘half life’ is over a million years. If something goes wrong with a plant, that portion of the planet is uninhabitable. End of story for the people surrounding it too. The subs are at the bottom of the sea, not it someone’s neighborhood. People freely choose to join the Navy and enter the submarine life.

    Concerning the coal mining. Once again, the problem is NIMBY. No one wants their mountains leveled for coal production. The companies are forced to put the land back to a certain level of enviromental conciousness. It is safer and cheaper than mining deep in the Earth. If they can’t buy the land, they can’t mine the land. Enviromental groups should oppose them in buying the property.

  3. Brent says:

    Thinking like that is a result of the fear mongering that people have been subjected to. These things are designed to only run under a certain set of conditions and to shutdown if that condition isn’t exactly right.

    The spent fuel rods are something close to 95% recoverable. Meaning that 95% of what people are calling waste can be cleaned up and used again. We haven’t done it because we have easy access to the material to make them.

    Another thing is that modern reactors are not the same as the reactors of the 70’s and earlier. They aren’t even the same designs.

    Coal is destroying the environment from both ends. There are more and more Nuclear power plants around the world (just not here) all the time and there have been no accidents with them.

  4. KY Dave says:

    I’m not writing about a ‘meltdown’. I’m referring to when the containment vessel is breached. Earthquakes or terrorists, either can cause the release of radiation to the enviroment.

    The problem is, the stuff never quits emitting radiation. No matter if you want it to or not. Once it screws up, the place is worthless. Any place downwind is worthless and the people die. Dust particles from the USA dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WWII is still radioactive.

    There has been an ever growing amount of cancer in the general public since the development in the 1940s with the testing and release of nuclear radiation and material.

    The more nuclear material that is circulating around the planet the greater the chance some can come up missing. A Russian spy was killed earlier this year by a speck the size of the period at the end of this sentence. They could trace where it had been on a plane, in the airport, in hotel rooms and etc.

  5. Matthew says:

    Lets put some nuclear power plantsin Kentucky.That should keep the people happy.

    Nuclear Power removes dependance on fossil fuels, and is much more efficient than coal.

    Coal Companies can nolonger afford to mine with mines,due to health and saftey regulations. Mountain top mining is the only profitable type of mining left.

  6. maxx says:

    [quote]The more nuclear material that is circulating around the planet the greater the chance some can come up missing.[/quote]

    Isn’t your argument then one for a better plan for disposal of nuclear waste than an actual issue with Nuclear Power, Dave? And for the record, even if all the nuclear power plants were shut down, your argument would still be an issue – since no military would willingly give up their nuclear subs and aircraft carriers. And even if they did, the hazardous waste would still be around.

    Seems to me that the solution would involve finding a mechanism to remove nuclear waste so far away from the earth that it cannot be re-used for the purposes of killing people either intentionally or unintentionally. The obvious choice would be to transport them to the moon, then shoot them into the sun. I suppose we could also just bury them on the moon, but where’s the fun in that 😉

    Or we could just accept that there is a *lot* of stuff on the planet that can kill us, and most of it is growing in terms of immediacy – global warming raising the temperature and water level, fossil fuel pollutants wiping the ozone layer, viruses like AIDS that adapt to drugs, and so on – so perhaps we should work on making human being immune to some of these items either through genetic mutations that are intentionally introduced, or exoskeleton type suits that can be worn.

    I think spending time and money trying to cram the cat back into the bag is a pointless task, and expecting that poor countries will follow our lead and reduce their dependence on fuels that pollute is a pipe-dream. Since the environment is a shared resource, and since we have zero control over what other countries do, it makes more sense to work on preventing the problems than on reversing the technological trend.

  7. KY Dave says:

    [imo] Preventing the proliferation of nuclear material is the best plan along with negotiations for a peaceful world and removal of nuclear weapons. Let’s keep looking for alternatives to oil, but I don’t think nuclear is a viable one. It’s more deadly that heating up the atmosphere. [/imo]

    Since a peaceful world is unlikely at this time, there have been advancements that could limit nuclear weapons. Both the USA and the Soviets have recently developed non-nuclear weapons that could be used to replace nuclear bombs. MOAB & FOAB are the acronyms I believe for mother and father of all bombs.

    Rockets are not reliable enough to blast nuclear materials off the planet. NASA already has trouble even being able to use small amounts of nuclear power for their deep space vehicles. I can’t imagine loading mass quanities of highly radioactive nuclear materials onto highly explosive rockets and trusting it to power out of the reach of Earth’s gravity. That’s just asking for more trouble.

  8. Brent says:

    Well, I still believe that the certainty of tearing something up is worse than the possibility of tearing something up, so I would still pick Nuclear over coal.

    There are several problems with all of this “into space” stuff, and in 9th Grade I had an entire conversation with my physics teacher about it.

    First, there is some obvious danger to sending it to space. If the rocket get to high altitude and then explodes, and breaks the container open, you have just created a massive cloud of radioactive material that will spread everywhere.

    The next problem is that it is hugely expensive to take any amount of material off of Earth. It would be far cheaper to bury it is Yucca Mountain, where we already have a facility built to handle it.

    As a counter point to the first problem though, they recently tried to shoot Scotty’s ashes into space and the rocket blew up. The thing was that they had planned ahead and were able to just go pick the containers back up and put them on another rocket. They have built them to survive that. Similar could be done with the radioactive material. It is already designed to survive a fall out of a plane or being hit by a train.

    Of course this all doesn’t take into account that there really isn’t that much of this stuff if you are allowed to reprocess it, like they do in other countries. I think of 90% of the energy that a fuel rod contains is still there when they are removed and stored. It is only because of the buildup of neutrons that they have to be removed. If that was cleaned out, they could be put back into service. We as a country just don’t do it.

    The argument against nuclear power also doesn’t take into account that both coal and oil production also produce large amounts of low level radioactive waste and thus they should not be immune to the “What are we going to do with all this nuclear waste?” question either.

  9. maxx says:

    Well, I was recommending the “mutation or suits” route, but you’ve both reverted to the first (and intentionally frivolous) portion of my comment about shooting stuff out to the moon. I was actually pointing out that the cheaper and more viable option long term is researching a technological solution to the stuff that will kill us, rather than burying our heads in the sand and taking the position that peace and love will bring this about.

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