Coal Tattoo


Mountaintop removal protester Mike Roselle has an interesting proposal for responding to the coal industry’s efforts to boycott trips to Tennessee to protect Sen. Lamar Alexander’s sponsorship of a bill to stop mountaintop removal.

Writing for the great journal Counterpunch, Roselle responds to the campaign by the Sierra Club to encourage tourism to the state to show support for the legislation. Roselle’s idea?

How about visiting the coal fields of West Virginia as an eco tourist? What better way to show your support for the mountains is there then to visit them before they are blown up? This would be better than a boycott of West Virginia tourism, and after all, it’s not the tourists who are blowing up the mountains.

… I’m serious about this. Once you see mountain top removal up close and personal I’ll guarantee you that you’ll never see West Virginia, electricity or coal in the same way again. I’d even wager that you will do what most people do when confronting this horror for the first time: you shake your fist at those machines that are destroying the future of West Virginia, and any hope of addressing the climate change crisis. Coal state senators are dooming any chance of addressing climate change because the coal industry will never let a bill pass that does not satisfy their insatiable appetite for more coal and bigger profits.