Letter: See 'The Last Mountain'

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602 S. Gay Street
2nd Floor
Knoxville, TN 37902

Through July 28, the Regal Cinema at Downtown West will be showing the The Last Mountain. [“Not So Explosive,” by Cari Wade Gervin, July 21, 2011] This movie basically documents the practice of mountaintop removal coal mining where, in order to access a seam of coal, the upper portion of a once living mountaintop is cleared, blasted apart, and the hundreds of thousands of tons of remains are dumped into the stream valleys below killing everything in the affected area (over 1,000 miles of streams have already been destroyed by this practice).

Though I understand that coal, in general, is currently a major energy provider, the specific practice of mountaintop removal coal mining that is addressed in this movie is completely unacceptable for a nation as compassionate and innovative as the United States.

In fact, this kind of disregard for creation and land ethics is something that you would more likely expect in China, North Korea, or the former Soviet Union. To reduce our lovely mountainlands to denuded moonscapes is insulting and very unpatriotic. I strongly encourage anyone that cares about this country’s natural heritage to see The Last Mountain and demand that your elected representatives immediately put measures into place to end mountaintop removal coal mining. Our great nation can do much better than this and any proud American would not settle for less.

Mark Shipley


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