Editorial

  • An estimated 350 million acres of forest covered the southern United States in the year 1600. Today, about 40 percent of this total acreage has been converted for agriculture or lost to suburban sprawl, mining, or clear-cutting for timber and pulpwood. SeeSouthernForests.org, a new website created by the World Resources Institute (WRI), uses …

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  • A patient diagnosed with cancer must confront a long, difficult road to recovery. The same can be said for the hundreds of mountaintops in Appalachia that have been ravaged by strip mining. America’s addiction to cheap energy has spread disease amongst some of our most beautiful natural resources. From a fatalistic point of view, we […]

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Feature

  • In BriefThe economic model of globalization has propelled rural communities in the United States and much of the world toward specialized, low-value, extractive economies for much of the twentieth century. This has been particularly true in the central Appalachian region of the U.S., where relatively diverse and self-reliant communities have …

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  • In BriefThousands of miles of streams in central Appalachia remain polluted from coal mines abandoned decades ago. Researchers Evan Hansen, Anne Hereford, and Rory McIlmoil estimate the number of green jobs that can be created by reclaiming these abandoned mines and restoring the streams they pollute, thereby turning streams from liabilities …

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Perspectives

On the Ground

Solutions in History

Envision the Future

  • For more than 100 years the coal-producing counties of eastern Kentucky have been dependent on the coal industry, which has dominated them politically and, submitting only to the limits of technology, has come near to ruining them. The legacy of the coal economy in the Kentucky mountains will be immense and lasting damage to the […]

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Interview

  • Joe Childers is an environmental lawyer, a founding member of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, and chairman of the Kentucky Mine Safety Review Commission. In 2009 he was a finalist for director of the U.S. Office of Surface Mining, raising expectations that the Obama administration might begin to enforce the Surface Mining Control and …

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Media Review

  • Stewart Brand issues his latest challenge to the environmental movement in his Whole Earth Discipline. Using climate change as his big stick, Brand does not walk softly as he attempts to overturn some of the key presuppositions of the environmental movement. This quirky, nonlinear compendium is a treasure trove of anecdotal information on the …

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  • With over 3.5 million pounds of explosives detonated each day, mountaintop removal has devastated a land area larger than the state of Delaware and buried roughly 2,000 miles of streams with rubble. Coal Country Music, released last year with the provocative mountaintop-removal documentary Coal Country, is a tribute to Appalachia’s rich …

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  • Adaptation Learning’s website showcases the latest reports on global readiness for climate change. Launched in 2007, the organization explores some of the key challenges we face: adapting to climate change on the ground and developing policies and plans to support this adaptation over time. The site’s archives suggest that many of the hundred …

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  • Most of the stories that reach us from Africa are about drought, famine, war, brutality, and desperation. AfriGadget looks to reveal a quirkier, more inspiring side of the continent. A multiauthored blog created by tech expert Erik Hersman, AfriGadget showcases innovation and entrepreneurship on a human scale. The blog is a fresh look at …

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Noteworthy

  • James Cameron, complete with orange war paint and a spear, was in the Brazilian Amazon recently, screening his movie Avatar for the region’s indigenous leaders and pledging to help them stop the government’s proposed Belo Monte dam project. The dam would flood hundreds of square miles of Amazon, dry up a 60-mile tract of the […]

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  • The financial crisis has put stress on many government programs, from education to health care to efforts to fight poverty and climate change. One of the leading responses has been to call for further cuts in programs that are already suffering. Earlier this year, British activists tried to reverse this trend, launching a campaign that […]

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