Appalachian mountaintop removal

During the late sixties when my wife and I decided to take a vacation we always went to West Virginia. Patti was born in Elkins and most of her family still lived there, so going “down home” was inexpensive, as well as a  guaranteed, joyful holiday for the both of us.

Once we left NE Ohio and headed south the scenery morphed from industrial ugliness to lovely farms, pastures, and tree covered hills.  A few miles south of the state line the landscape changed yet again, this time it became hilly and far more interesting than the flatland we’d left behind.

The deeper we drove into ‘Mountains Momma’ the more beautiful she became. Her roads got windier, her hills higher and her valleys deeper, her forests thicker and her waterways faster and cleaner looking. The 480 million years old Appalachian mountains are a wonderland of awesomeness for anybody who loves nature . . .

To get to Grandma White’s farm we had to drive through the small college town of Elkins and beyond into the countryside for a piece. Turning off the main road, a narrow lane led back to the old farmhouse that looked pretty much the same as all the other farms dotting the area.

Grandma White was always waiting for us and always had an empty bedroom in her home for us to sleep in, but she never treated us like guests. Once there, we were family, and we moved about the house just as if we lived there, nothing fancy, no big deal . . . I loved the old lady for being that way.

Both Grandma and Grandma White worked for the local creamery. They would rise early in the morning and travel the backroads to isolated farms in the county and pick up the cream from their cows.

I went with Grandpa a few time while I was there to help them out and check out the back country scenery. I can only say that in all the places I had been to that point in my life, nowhere compared to the beauty of West Virginia.

I wonder what it looks like back there now. I haven’t been back since the seventies and from what I have been reading I think it would be a great shock to my system to see five hundred or so mountains skinned down like the Sunday rabbit and shining in the dust shrouded sun. I can only imagine how long Grandma White’s prayers would be these days if she was here to witness this catastrophe being caused by corporate greed and government neglect.

I guess the coal companies finally got their way when Bush got in office and dropped all the environmental nonsense that was barring them from their constant and wanton destruction of all that I hold dear about West Virginia.

I can only reminisce today what the long drive and hike to the top of one of those mountains was like . . . cause I sure as all hell don’t want to see them now.

JW

 

 

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Know Your Enemy

It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle. . . . Sun Tzu

The above quote was taken from Sun Tzu’s treatise, The Art of War. This well proven book has, for the last 2500 years, been considered the fighting manual of choice by military men throughout the world. A list of it’s readers would contain the names of Patton, MacArthur, Stalin, Mao Zedong, so forth. Vo Nguyen Giap used it’s knowledge to defeat both the French and the Americans in Vietnam. It’s concepts are being taught even today at the American War College.

The Art of War contains the final answer to those caught in a David and Goliath moment where the enemy is far larger and far more powerful than their fledging resistance. It’s worked before, it will work again as we take on the gas industry and their minions in Congress and the State legislatures. Continue reading “Know Your Enemy”

The Mission

If God sent Man out to search and destroy
Then everything else makes sense.
If Odin be He and warriors be we
And He cared not the consequence.

Then we well trained elite have skipped not a beat
As we’ve ravaged and subdued the land.
Turning flora to mud and fauna to crud
We’ve met and exceeded God Odin’s demand.

But what if this God that we cherish
Were the artist who’d just done His best
Not merely a fable that makes us not able
To see the great danger in soiling His nest?

JW

Mother Earth

To be at one with our Earth in my opinion is merely to understand her and give her the love and respect she deserves.

I saw a bumper sticker in a store once that had a colored picture of our Earth on it. Following the planet’s contour were the words “Love Your Mother”. I thought the play on words was pretty cool so I bought the thing and glued it onto the back window of my old work truck.

LOVE YOUR MOTHER . . . I wonder how many people would treat their birth mother the way they treat their Earth mother. If they did I wonder how long it would take before birth mother tossed the brat out the upstairs window and smashed his ignorant head on the sidewalk. Continue reading “Mother Earth”

Introduction

About a year or so ago I purchased the video Gasland. This well made documentary revealed in detail, the downside to the fracking craze that is taking place all over this country.  I was certainly drawn in, but I also figured balance was left out for the need of sensationalism. Instead of jumping on the anti fracking bandwagon full bore I followed cautiously behind it this last year or so while keeping my eyes on my immediate surroundings. (which happen to be mid eastern Ohio) Today, after studying both pro and con and with a better understanding of just what fracking is all about, I am now well anchored upon that bandwagon.

Today, I watch in trepidation as this invasion to my neighborhood and our way of life slips across our horizon dressed in the guise of a savior. The promoters of this fracking debacle promise us much, yet what are they actually going to deliver?

What I am witnessing is nothing much, a bit of cash to some, a whole lot of cash to a few, and to the rest of us? . . . not a goddamn thing. They are taking, not giving. Trading us trinkets for treasure, just like they did to the Delaware Indian who occupied this land before us.

I am an environmentalist. I love trees. I love clean water. I love safe food . . . and I place these loves above so called progress on every front. I also believe in the middle ground. I believe we could have prosperity as well as a healthy environment, but I also think we are going about it the wrong way. We are in a feeding frenzy before we even know what the hell it is we are eating. “Drill, Drill! Drill!! . . . and the beat goes on.

The corporation is now my sworn enemy, not because of their cry for progress, or their drilling, or any of that stuff. The corporation is my enemy because of their total disregard for all that I hold worthy of preservation, and the lies, half truths, and word spinning I hear coming from their smug faces.

It sickens me as I watch the promise of riches twist the minds of the land owners in this region. They clamor to sign on the dotted line and give up their heritage to this well oiled machine invading eastern Ohio with their trucks, poisoned water, noise, and filth without giving it a second thought. The only gripe I ever hear is that they didn’t  get enough money, or their neighbor got more money . . . or something else having to do with money. Sad.

There are environmental problems by the score, this fracking issue is just one of them. This blog will not only address fracking, but encompass these other issues as well. This blog is my rant to the world. Perhaps that’s all I can do, but do that I will.

JW