Tomorrow, beloved ex-NPR host Bob Edwards — who now has a show on XM satellite radio — will be doing an hour-long special on mountaintop removal mining. (A weekend version is also distributed by PRI, so check your local public-radio listings.)
I chatted with Mr. Edwards about the program yesterday, and asked him what drew him to the subject. He said:
I’m just incredulous that they’re blowing up mountains. There’s something wrong with that. I’m a native Kentuckian — from Louisville — and I find it upsetting that the landscape of my state is being radically altered, forever.
The Appalachians are the oldest mountains in America. There were there before the Ice Age. When the ice melted, you had the Appalachians and those forests to reforest the rest of the country. And we’re tearing it up — we’ve lost hundreds of thousands of acres of forest.
He also lamented the lack of focus this gets from the big environmental advocacy groups and the media — somewhat bizarre considering the almost caricatured destructiveness of the practice.
On the program, Edwards will talk to the head of the Kentucky Mining Association, along with Wendell Berry, Erik Reece, and dozens of ordinary citizens who’ve had their foundations cracked by the blasting, homes flooded from the reconfigured mountain runoff patterns, and relatives killed by coal trucks that are "overloaded, overweight, unregulated, driven recklessly on these narrow mountain roads."
Check it out — should be a corker.