As I was riding my bike home from work yesterday, I was passed by a giant new pick-up with a “Friends of Coal” license plate. (natch) In the rear window panel was a sticker I had not seen: “Mine Every Lump”
My grandfather was a coal miner. Born in 1912, he quit school in the 8th grade to work in the mines in Knott and Perry Counties. My mother was literally born in a house that coal wages paid for. Some of my favorite memories are of sitting on the porch of that house.
Coal wages kept the roof over my mother’s head and helped her go to college.
Two of my mother’s brothers worked in the Coal industry. I have other family members in the industry too.
While I am absolutely no “Friend of Coal,” I have nothing against the people who make their living around the mining of coal.
But when I saw that sticker “Mine Every Lump” I admit I was caught short.
This is nothing but a middle finger in the face of everyone who lives on this planet. A deliberate fuck you to those of us who are working for, and care about, a better future. And I can’t help but think that if this wasn’t such a politicized debate that the people in the mountains – and here – wouldn’t be so gung-ho for their own destruction.
It’s come down to this: Republicans/conservatives have signed on for destruction. This has become what they stand for. It doesn’t matter if it is local destruction through mountain top removal, hemispheric destruction through oil spills, or global destruction through climate change.
“Mine Every Lump” really means “live for today.” It’s incredible that people whose politics profess themselves to be the true keepers of tradition, of heritage, of values for future generations should have adopted the hippie ethos.
Where is the ability to find the common ground that, while we have coal right now, we must begin immediately transitioning to renewable power? Where is the faith that good jobs can be created in doing so? Where is the sense of repsonsibility to the future? To the earth that God has entrusted us with? To each other?
What is the possibility that we could see stickers that say “Coal for Renewables”? Probably nill: Fox news says climate change is a hoax. Fox News says renewables are the handiwork of the liberals and Obama himself, designed only to deprive us of all the money and freedom we “got” coming to us.
Common sense doesnt matter anymore; only which political side one is on.
“Mine Every Lump” only benefits coal and power corporations.
“Mine Every Lump” is disaster for the people in the mountains. And the rest of us.