Wednesday, January 4, 2012

the last mountain

over the long weekend, j and i finally watched "the last mountain" documentary. i had been putting it off since i knew it would be a tearjerker (just the trailer alone had me in tears). i absolutely loved this film and i was completely captivated and angered by the atrocities occuring in appalachia and all over the country.

the film documents the mountain top removal coal mining being done by massey coal company in appalachia. mountain top removal has destroyed 500 appalachian mountains, decimated 1 million acres of forest, and buried 2000 miles of streams. mountain top removal is forcing the locals who have lived in appalachia for many generations to leave due to loss of jobs and horrible health conditions. one of the women in the film walked the viewers through a neighborhood where 6 people living side-by-side (including her brother) developed a brain tumor despite the national average being 1 in 100,000 people! due to the mountain top removal, their water quality is so poor that their water filters only last an average of 2-3 weeks when typically they should last 6 months!

between 2000 and 2006 massey committed more than 60,000 environmental violations. their 28 impoundments have spilled 24 times in the last decade, contaminating rivers with more than 300 million gallons of sludge; two times the amount released in BP’s gulf oil disaster (go here to read about the martin county spill in 2000).

in order to save the appalachian region's economy and environment, activists are pushing to get wind farms in their area to save their mountains and create more jobs.

make sure to watch this film to stay informed about issues that threaten the world's environment and our civil rights (and remember tissues)!

to read more about this documentary and the issues created by mountain top coal remove, go here. if you are interested, take action and help save the coal river valley!


  1. I tell you, that movie looks like a must see. Being from that area originally, a drive up or down Interstate 77 will quickly take you to similar areas, and the sights are enough to sicken most anyone. It is amazing the effect that coal mining can have on the land, but even more so the effect that it can have on the families and communities near the mines. The hardest thing of all to deal with is the fact that most of this is still going on, and will continue to do so until our energy sources change, or we completely mar the face of the Earth forever.

  2. @birthday in NYC - you really need to see it! Especially considering you grew up there! It's interesting how in the film, the coal company thinks that their "replenishmed" mountains created with the rubble are comparable to the original - even though no life can grow on these mountains! So you are absolutely right about humans ruining the Earth forever! It's horrible.


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