Using Google Earth to See Mountaintop Removal

Google Earth Highlights Destruction
By BetaNews Staff, BetaNews
March 12, 2007, 12:48 PM
[original article]

While Google Earth has primarily been touted for its uncanny ability to take users on a tour of the world’s most beautiful sights right from their desktop, a new feature added Monday highlights the immense destruction human beings leave in their wake.

Environmental advocacy group Appalachian Voices has joined to Google to deliver a special interactive layer for Google Earth that tells the stories of over 470 mountains that have been destroyed from coal mining, and its impact on nearby ecosystems. Separately, the World Wildlife Fund has added the ability to visit its 150 project sites using Google Earth.

INSTRUCTIONS on How to See Mountain Memorial in Google Earth’s “Featured Content” Menu
Once you have Google Earth open on your computer, open the “featured content” folder in the “layers” menu at the bottom left portion of your screen. The first item inside the “featured content” menu is called “Global Awareness.” Open that folder and you will see a folder called “Appalachian Mountaintop Removal” with a little blue and white flag icon net to it. Check the box next to this folder to turn on the layer and then double-click the icon to be taken to the memorial. Clicking on “User’s Guide” will help you make the most of your visit to the National Memorial for the Mountains.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art: The Oil Museum

[this is reposted from the excellent Art for a Change Blog]
Photo by Gary Leonard

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), after receiving $25 million dollars from the multinational oil company BP (British Petroleum), plans to dedicate a new entry gate and pavilion to the energy Goliath. To be christened the “BP Grand Entrance”, the construction is nothing more than an edifice to big oil and the clearest example yet of the increasing corporatization of the arts in America.Historically, the largesse of wealthy benefactors has always played a role in the arts, with the names of well-heeled patrons gracing museum wings and collections. But there is something unseemly about naming part of an art museum after a transnational oil conglomerate – especially when considering the increasingly toxic role of oil companies in today’s world. President of BP America, Bob Malone, said the donation represents the energy giant’s “commitment to the arts” – but scrutiny of the oil-smeared endowment reveals a public relations campaign designed to erase public memory of BP’s dirty doings. Continue reading

Emergency Action for Coalfield Residents in WV. Take Action March 16

CALL TO ACTION FOR MARSH FORK ELEMENTARY!

Gather at the Liberty Bell, north side of WV Capitol Building in Charleston, Friday, March 16, 2007, at 10:30.
The WV Surface Mine Board on Tuesday, March 13, overturned a WV Dept of Environmental Protection ruling and granted Massey Energy’s application to build a second coal silo beside Marsh Fork Elementary School in Sundial, WV.  By Massey’s own determination, the second silo will add tons of coal dust to the air the kids breathe.

The children of Marsh Fork Elementary need a new school in their community now more than ever!  They are already breathing coal dust that includes toxic chemicals, and it will only get worse with an additional coal silo within 300 feet of the school

TAKE ACTION ON FRIDAY MARCH 16
* Come to Charleston WV meet at the Liberty Bell at 10:30 a.m. on Friday for a rally for a new school.  Bring a friend or two or 10!
* if you can’t come, then:

Call Governor Manchin’s office: 1-888-438-2731 (toll free) or 1-304-558-2000.
Send a FAX 1-304-342-7025

Email the Governor’s office: Governor@WVGov.org.

TALKING POINTS
* The kids at Marsh Fork Elementary need a new school in their own community now more than ever.

* Every child deserves a safe and healthy school in their own community.

* Forget a new silo – build the kids a new school!
* Massey’s own air quality permit predicts an increase in the amount of coal dust (3.49 tons per year) emitted by operating a second silo.

*Neither the state Department of Education nor the US Environmental Protection Agency determined coal dust levels in the school.  The EPA’s test was not done during normal operation of the coal plant.

*The state has the money for a new school and the Raleigh County Board of Education is willing to accept it.

*The sludge dam just 400 yards above the school holds 20 times the volume of the Buffalo Creek sludge dam disaster that killed 125 people in 1972.

More Background

Marsh Fork Elementary School sits just 225 feet from a coal loading silo that releases chemical-laden coal dust and 400 yards from a 385 foot tall leaking sludge dam with a nearly 3 billion gallon capacity. Independent studies have shown the school to be full of coal dust.

Massey Energy who owns the coal processing facility has been attempting to build a second coal processing plant near the school for years, but community opposition, action and research led the Department of Environmental Protection to reject Massey’s permit request for the second silo.

On Tuesday March 13 the state Surface Mine Board overturned the Department of Environmental Protection order that blocked the silo.
Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/ypx39z

Community members have been working for years on getting a new school for the children that attend Marsh Fork Elementary in their community so that they don’t have to breathe coal dust and toxic chemicals daily.  The grandfather of a recent Marsh Fork graduate walked from West Virginia to DC to raise support for a new school and to meet with Senator Byrd to request a new school in the community.  And elementary students around the world have written letters to Governor Manchin and collected pennies to help build a new school.

Find out more here:
surprise delivery of letters to Governor Manchin: http://itsgettinghotinhere.org/1033
Governor avoids meeting with children: http://itsgettinghotinhere.org/1010
Pennies of Promise launch with deliver of pennies to the capitol: http://itsgettinghotinhere.org/322
Ed’s walk from WV to DC: http://duke.securenet-server.net/~mnoerpel/pennies/blog.php

ETC Group Warns that US Government’s Push for Geoengineering is Unacceptable

Gambling with GaiaETC Group

On the Eve of the Release of UN Climate Change Report ETC Group Warns that US Government’s Push for Geoengineering is Unacceptable (2/1/2007)
Link to original Article

“Gambling with Gaia” REPORT (PDF – 139KB)

On the day before the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sounds its loudest alarm yet, ETC Group warns that some OECD states, led by the United States, are betting on a pie-in-the-sky techno-fix to address climate change. “Geoengineering” refers to the intentional, large-scale manipulation of the environment to bring about environmental change. With no hope for Kyoto, little political will to ask industry or voters to change lifestyles and a growing recognition that carbon trading is a farce, some governments are concluding that massive earth restructuring is the only way out. The Guardian reported earlier this week that the US government is lobbying the IPCC to promote geoengineering activities, such as deliberately polluting the stratosphere to deflect sunlight and lower temperatures.
Continue reading