Five lessons on activism from a coal miner’s daughter
In the new book Ecoliterate, authors Daniel Goleman, Lisa Bennett, and Zenobia Barlow argue that integrating emotional, social, and ecological intelligence leads to more effective environmental education and more effective activism. Here’s an excerpt from the book about one inspiring activist.
Teri Blanton grew up on a dirt road in Harlan County, Ky. The daughter of one coal miner and sister of another who died in a mining accident, Blanton left briefly to marry, and then returned at 25 as a single mother of two. She bought a few acres of land behind her parents’ house and settled into a mobile home with her children and two big dogs. For years, she didn’t think twice about coal — until her kids, who waited for the school bus on the same road traveled by coal trucks, started complaining.
“You know, my son would say, ‘Our shoes get dirty before we get to school,’” Blanton recalls. “And, one morning, he told me, ‘Somebody has to drive us across this part of the road every day, because the coal muck is there.’ I went down there, and I’d seen it,” she ... Read more