24 Jun 2009:
NASA’s James Hansen
Arrested During Coal Mining Protest
NASA climate scientist James Hansen and 30 other demonstrators were arrested in West Virginia while protesting the practice of mountaintop=removal coal mining, which Hansen says President Obama must ban as the U.S. weans itself off fossil fuels. Hansen; actress Darryl Hannah; Michael Brune, executive director of the Rainforest Action Network; and Ken Hechler, a 94-year-old former congressman, were among those arrested as they blocked traffic on a highway in front of a Massey Energy coal plant in Sundial, West Virginia. “We have to phase out greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years,” said Hansen. “Where should you start? Well mountaintop removal is producing only seven percent of the nation’s coal and it’s a destructive practice.” The mining technique, which involves blasting the tops off Appalachian mountains to get at coal seams below, has buried more than 800 miles of streams in mining debris and has severely damaged or destroyed an area of forest nearly as large as Delaware. Protesters have recently carried out acts of civil disobedience against companies involved in mountaintop removal, including chaining themselves to mining equipment.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s unspoiled coral reefs. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.