Thursday, April 14, 2011

NYTimes has stunning slide show on mountaintop removal in southern West Virginia, as towns disappear (and it's behind the "paywall")

New York Times subscribers (right now my "paywall" fee for unlimited access is still $.99 the first month) will want to read Dan Barry’s article Wednesday, “As the Mountaintops Fall, A Coal Town Vanishes”, link here (from the "This Land" series, as if to evoke Aaron Copland). 

The article discusses the disappearance of  Lindytown (not on my Rand McNally road atlas) in Boone County, W Va, south of Charleston about 40 miles, as well as the threats to the nearby towns of Twilight and Bandytown.

The article has a great 11-piece slideshow which is not legally available for embedding – sorry, the Times really wants you to pay for some of this content – it’s like a documentary movie.  For the average motorist, these areas are remote and hard to reach, often now on private roads owned by coal companies and kept out of sight.  You might see them from the air.  I visited the area in 1999 and could not see the notorious Kayford mine from the ground. 

Anyone notice the word analogy: "paywall" v. "highwall".  Use it on the SAT.

Picture: Strip mining hasn't affected the Spruce Knob country farther north, although any land west of the Allegheny Front (Eastern Continental Divide) has coal. I wonder if Dolly Sods is safe.

Second picture (today): In Frederick, MD, BP keeps a corporate sign of very socially desirable business (solar power) behind barbed wire, maybe because of all the bad vibes (from CEO Tony) in 2010:
In fairness, you can see the BP Solar HQ from I-270 as it merges to I-70, but you can't drive on a public street in front of it to get a good picture of what should be a positive image. 

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