For eighth day, climate activists block bulldozers at WVs Coal River Mountain.

This is a TP repost by Brad Johnson.

Coal River TreesitYesterday in Washington, DC, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) exhorted citizens to “get angry about the fact that they’re being killed and our planet is being injured by what’s happening on a daily basis by the way we provide our power and our fuel.” In West Virginia, climate activists are not just getting angry, they’re taking action “” blocking the demolition of Coal River Mountain by coal company Massey Energy. The activists, members of the aptly named organization Climate Ground Zero, have been living in trees for over a week to prevent bulldozers from reaching the summit:

High up in the trees near the summit of Coal River Mountain, two activists dangle in the air near a mountaintop removal mine site. Eric Blevins and Amber Nitchman are still preventing the expansion of mining on the summit of Coal River Mountain, a mountain that has the best wind energy (and therefore economic) potential in the area.

Employees of coal baron Don Blankenship, the “scariest polluter in the United States,” have been blasting the tree-sit activists with air horns and flood lights. Following hundreds of phone calls from supporters of the non-violent civil disobedience action, Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV) met today with Climate Ground Zero representatives and “asked the activists to scale down their campaign.”

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21 Responses to For eighth day, climate activists block bulldozers at WVs Coal River Mountain.

  1. Mary Oropesa says:

    It takes 3 tons of coal to mix into iron ore and create 1 ton of steel. Steel for highspeed rail and windmills. If we can stop coal mining, we can import coal from Korea. That would of course hamper American union jobs.

  2. espiritwater says:

    I think this is what it’s going to come down to– people physically stopping the destruction of our planet. Obviously, our government doesn’t give a hoot about whats’ right. They’re all about greed and destruction.

  3. Mary Oropesa says:

    It is clear that Democrat Governor will need to be replaced. That is very easy now.

  4. Russell Swan says:

    This type of activity, while laudable in principle, only serves to engender the labeling of these activists as “kooks” and tree huggers to be laughed at. The media presentation these actions promote results in more of a negative image than hoped for in my opinion. When they eventually come down from the trees they have lost the image battle.

  5. espiritwater says:

    Climate activists are jailed for stating the truth? So we no longer have freedom of speech? Then the Obama administration never errased bush’s illegal b.s.(“Homeland security” b.s.)which took away our civil rights?!

  6. We got 'em reeling says:

    Did I hear bin laden was there?

  7. espiritwater says:

    Can we all unite, go there, and protest this evil practice of removing the mountain tops? God help us if we don’t somehow learn to unite and stop the destruction by fascist corporate pigs.

  8. Rob Mac says:

    @1: Are you trying to imply that the majority of coal mined in the United States is used to make steel? Or is it your point that the coal we have is too precious to burn and that we should save it for steel making?

  9. Jeff Huggins says:

    A Good Opportunity to Reflect On Some Revealing Comparisons

    I was just informed of the new penalties for various traffic violations in California, where I live. So, given present circumstances, including mountain-top mining, I thought it might be interesting to compare these with the penalties that society (so far) deems appropriate for other actions:

    Passing a school bus with flashing red signals – fine of $616 (to the individual).

    Producing and selling products that generate well over 1 Trillion Pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere each year (in the case of one company alone: ExxonMobil) – NO FINE.

    Traveling at an unsafe speed, 16 to 25 mph over the speed limit – fine of $328 (to the individual).

    Persisting in practices regarding which the American Chemical Society characterizes as follows, in its Position Statement on Global Climate Change: “We are, in effect, in the midst of a vast experiment with the Earth’s climate—with uncertain, but likely quite unpleasant, outcomes.” – NO FINE.

    Failure to stop at a red signal – fine of $436 (to the individual).

    Violation of disabled parking provisions, first offense – fine of $976 (to the individual).

    Violation of disabled parking provisions, second offense – fine of $1876 (to the individual).

    Failure to consider ample scientific warnings and to act responsibly with respect to future generations and other species, even in light of recommendations such as Recommendation 2a of the American Chemical Society: “The U.S. should immediately adopt nationwide goals for rapid and deep reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions and develop effective economic drivers to achieve these goals.” – NO FINE.

    Unlawful material on vehicle windows – fine of $178 (to the individual).

    Running misleading or false full-page and front-page ads in The New York Times about the most important issue facing humankind’s future today – NO FINE.

    Destroying entire mountaintops and surrounding ecosystems – NO FINE.

    Lobbying politicians with immense amounts of money in order to kill or delay responsible measures to address our climate change and energy problems – NO FINE.

    Debilitating the effectiveness of government and of democratic processes – NO FINE.

    Putting human beings into deep dark holes within the Earth eight hours a day, five days a week, for most of their lives, and resisting any public efforts to make changes that would result in much safer and healthier forms of employment for them – NO FINE.

    Hhhhm. Seems that there’s work to do!

    (Note: In terms of the specific fine amounts for California, I received those from a source that is likely to be credible, but I haven’t confirmed them directly with the State. In other words, I’m not as certain of their accuracy as I normally am about figures that I post. So, please don’t quote them, at least not in any important material, without confirming them first with your local California Highway Patrol or police!)

  10. Fran Rosell says:

    For the 2011 budget, the department will add $36 billion to the $18.5 billion already approved for nuclear-power plant loan guarantees, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the budget hasn’t been released. Congress started the program in 2005 to encourage new plant construction, but the department has yet to issue a loan guarantee.

    “Senate Republicans support building 100 new plants as quickly as possible — we hope Democrats will join us in that effort, particularly now with the president’s call to action,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said on the Senate floor yesterday. “And the president could start by moving forward on the nuclear loan guarantee program.”

    I see open minded enthusiasm on the part of the liberals.

  11. Mark Shapiro says:

    These peaceful protesters continue a great American tradition of civil disobedience. They remind us of Dr. King protesting segregation with the lunch counter sit-ins. I admire their courage and salute their cause.

    (Note to Mary Oropesa: please read comment by Rob Mac @8, and then read Joe’s Most Popular Posts from the right hand column. Enjoy the education.)

  12. kenshin says:

    actually the steel industry in the US uses a lot of recycled steel, something like 60%? point is we really should not be just burning it and putting the carbon into our atmosphere.

    by far i don’t consider korea to be the cheapest place to get steel anyways–although korea is investing in wind and alternatives at an extraordinary rate, we should too. but buying steel from the US has been up, due to the drop in the dollar, a one of the upsides to having a low dollar.

  13. Andy Velwest says:

    @10 (Fran Rosell) Joe Romm here at Climate Progress argues convincingly (to me) that Nuclear power generation is not justified. The costs of building a safe plant, with safe mining, handling and disposal of fuels has a much higher cost per kilowatt hour than a wind or solar farm. We need to make important decisions on the future of energy generation based on good information, and nothing else. If you have any analysis which shows Nuclear to be cost effective, I would read it with an open mind.

    BTW, I would make the same argument for fossil fuel generated energy. The cost to extract, safely handle, and safely return the carbon back underground so as not to damage the surface environment (land and oceans) and atmosphere makes this form of energy generation more costly than wind or solar. In addition, it is unclear to me whether all fossil carbon could be put back underground, even if we just concerned ourselves with carbon extracted starting today.


  14. Chad says:

    “Russell Swan says:
    January 29, 2010 at 9:36 am
    This type of activity, while laudable in principle, only serves to engender the labeling of these activists as “kooks” and tree huggers to be laughed at. The media presentation these actions promote results in more of a negative image than hoped for in my opinion. When they eventually come down from the trees they have lost the image battle.”

    I don’t know about you, but blasting scars in the earth that our great-great-(skip a million greats)-great grandchildren will still be looking at, all so we can make a few quick bucks today, is far more “kooky” than trying to stop it.

  15. David Smith says:

    Jeff Higgins #9 Great post. This situation with corporations having the rights of people, free speach, etc. has been on my mind lately as a bad thing. The fact that no laws exist for the typical “crimes” of corporations is not surprising given corporate influence in the Houses of Congress. This needs to change. You can’t have it both ways. They are people when it comes to influencing the government and kings (above the law) when it comes to many other issues.

  16. Phil says:

    In reference to the nuclear power question, there are some really good cost breakdowns over at a site called

    Yes, using 1st and 2nd gen tech from the sixties, nuclear has some serious problems. But so does cathode Ray tube tech. The relevant question is whether, knowing what we know now, can we build safe, cost-effective new designs? My impression is yes. Indeed, china and India are working flat out on thorium and molten salt reactors, which could burn not only current fuel but existing nuclear waste to produce power. As with so many problems caused by tech, the way out is advancing, not retreating.

  17. espiritwater says:

    To Chad (#14): Hear! hear! Glad you set the table straight on that one!

  18. espiritwater says:

    According to this video, almost 500 mountain tops have been removed in Apalachia! We reap what we sow and mankind has a whole lot of reaping coming our way! The name of the game is greed. In other words, to h__ with future generations, our grandchildren, etc.

    Video Watch how mining is affecting the town » … Community activists from Coal River Mountain Watch believe that there is an alternative: Mine coal … – Similar
    Sponsored LinksMining Video

  19. Russell Swan says:

    To Chad (#14): I am 100% behind the effort to curtail strip mining, but I believe this type of tactic to be counter productive. Hanging out in trees plays to the stereotype of the wacko environmentalist by those who seek to marginalize these well meaning folks. There must be a better way.

    The deniers of global warming play a similar game by seeking to define the arguments in such a way such that we find ourselves constantly defending the most well established science. They seek to marginalize the science and it’s scientists thereby further eroding public confidence in climate science and the reality of AGW.

    Lets face it, swiftboating works, making a fool of Michael Dukakis riding a tank works. Bashing Al Gore, Jim Hansen and Michael Mann works. The CRU e-mail debacle works. We must be forever vigilant not to provide fuel to the fire.

  20. BobSmith says:

    To Massey Energy:

    *claps dramaticly slow*

  21. Chris Winter says:

    Russell Swan wrote: “Lets face it, swiftboating works, making a fool of Michael Dukakis riding a tank works. Bashing Al Gore, Jim Hansen and Michael Mann works. The CRU e-mail debacle works.”

    Only because those doing the swiftboating and the bashing aren’t held up to the same sort of scrutiny by the media.