September 2008

Check your local bookstores or favorite online seller in October for The Green Bible which is being released by Harper One, a division of Harper Collins Publishing. This Bible is a New Revised Standard Version green letter edition with passages referring to the care of God’s creation highlighted in green.  This is a truly extraordinary version and features an introduction and essays from a wide array of respected religious leaders and thinkers such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Wendell Berry, Mathew Sleeth, Barbara Brown Taylor, N.T. Wright, and many others. Other features include a historical overview on Christian teachings of creation, a green subject index, study guides that reference scriptures dealing with environmental themes, and a resource guide that gives you ideas on how to be a better steward of God’s creation.  Another interesting aspect of this Bible is that it has a 100% cotton/linen cover, is printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink, and is produced in a green-friendly environment.

For more information visit The Green Bible’s website

Please check out the video below from the publishers that explains the Bible’s powerful message for the Earth and features interviews that highlight the general perception about what the Bible has to say about caring for the environment.

Both presidential candidates have made statements acknowledging that they support ending Mountain Top Removal Coal mining!  We are making progress in abolishing the destruction of the Appalachian Mountains, but our work is not over yet. Research both Obama and McCain’s stances on the issue. Inform yourself about the plans that each of them have concerning extraction practices.

Check out this article by Ken Ward Jr. in the Charleston Gazette that highlights what both candidates are saying about their position on coal mining pracitces.

Words are cheap, so ask them how they plan to stop Mountain Top Removal.  Find out how they will promote economic diversity in Appalachia and protect the health and heritage of the mountains and its people.  Let both of the know that you expect them to follow through with their promises.

Contact the Obama Campaign here

Contact the McCain Campaign here

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.

Mahatma Ghandi

Below is a Call for Peace in the Coalfields issued by the West Virginia Council of Churches.

Council of Churches Call for Peace in the Coalfields:

The Government Concerns and Peace and Justice Programs of the West Virginia Council of Churches felt a need to respond to tensions around the upcoming ruling of the Fourth Circuit Court. The appeal involves Judge Robert Chambers’ decision to halt a valley fill at Jupiter Holdings Callisto Mine in Boone County. Arguments will be heard on September 23 and a ruling is expected this fall, which could broadly affect the coal industry’s capacity to engage in mountain top removal mining. It is clear that whichever way the Court decides, many West Virginia residents will consider themselves to be adversely affected. Many in the coalfield communities fear their homes and heritage will be lost, and their health threatened by valley fills. Miners are worried about losing surface mining jobs and their capacity to support their families.

As people of faith, the WVCC feels it is of great importance to support all our fellow citizens involved by calling for calm, non-violence, and reasoned dialogue surrounding this issue and the upcoming court decision. The Council invites people of conscience to a period of fasting and prayer for peace in our communities. They are designating the month of September as a “Fast for Peace in the Coalfields,” and invite all concerned persons to select one or more days to join in this effort.

Individuals or groups desiring to join the fast and prayer are asked to contact Carol Warren,  Chair of the Council of Churches’ Government Concerns Program Unit, at to sign on. People will be participating each day throughout  the month of September.

Check out this Associated Press article on seeking peace and prayer in the coalfields.

Bill Raney, head of the WV Coal Association feels that “mixing natural resource extraction and religion is inappropriate and only serves to expand what already is a divisive issue.” He also believes that they are practicing stewardship.

Does this resemble stewardship to you?  Do you feel that the destruction of God’s creation has nothing to do with your faith?

Stover Cemetary, Kayford Mtn. Photo courtesy Vivian Stockman OVEC

Stover Cemetary, Kayford Mtn. Photo courtesy Vivian Stockman OVEC

Please check out the wonderful YouTube video below produced by the Sierra Club. It illustrates how the destruction of mountains in Appalachia through the process of Mountain Top Removal is a spiritual and moral dilemma. This short video spotlights Christians that are motivated by their faith to take action against the anihillation of God’s mountains. Also featured in this clip is Christians for the Mountains Intern Sage Russo. The video lays out actions that persons of faith can take to show love for their Creator and become a better steward of God’s planet.  The Sierra Club has done some great work in partnering with faith communities. Please take a look at the work they are doing with church groups fighting against Mountain Top Removal and care of God’s creation as whole.

“I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable.”   Jerimiah 2:7

The last post dealt with Massey’s fast-tracked plans to demolish Coal River Mountain which would destroy the possibility of harnessing clean energy, creation of sustainable jobs, vast quantities of ginseng, and Appalachian Mountain heritage.   Below is a message from the Coal River Wind Team that discusses the current situation of the permits and a call to action to let West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin know that you want to save Coal River Mountain for wind power and the various opportunities that this new endeavor would open up.

Hey folks,

We wanted to let you know that Coal River Mountain has survived another day!  Due to the fact that Massey coal company had not obtained the required permits, they were prevented from starting the blasting yesterday from a legal standpoint.  However, it was your calls and emails to Governor Manchin that pressured him into sending his own team of inspectors down to the mine site to make sure they didn’t blast.  So for the residents of the Coal River Valley, and for the future of West Virginia, we wanted to say THANK YOU!!

Since Tuesday morning, nearly 2,500 of you have emailed the Governor, and the emails are still going through at a steady pace.  From what we can tell, the Governor also received hundreds of calls, and about 600 of you signed our petition (if you didn’t do so, please sign the petition).  This was a great push, and the pressure on the governor is vital to winning this campaign and bringing wind power to southern West Virginia.  He now knows that people all over West Virginia and all over the nation are watching to see if he’ll let Coal River Mountain – and the potential for clean energy development in an economically depressed, coal-dependent area – be destroyed for only 14 years of coal mining, or if he’ll do the right thing and rescind the permits altogether.  He may have helped stop the blasting, but he only did so for legal reasons, and you can bet that Massey is pushing hard to get the required blasting and mining permits, so We Still Need Your Help!!

Can you forward this email to at least 5 friends, asking them to help save Coal River Mountain for wind power?  We need to ramp up the pressure, and keep the calls and emails coming in, for once Massey gets those permits, only Governor Manchin can take them away.

Also, if you are in the area, come join us on September 16th as we celebrate the opportunity that exists here on Coal River Mountain, as well as all over West Virginia, to transition away from a heavy dependence on coal and toward a cleaner, greener energy and economic future.  We’ll be holding a “Rally for Green Jobs and Healthy Mountains” on the steps of the State Capitol building in Charleston, WV from 5:00-6:30pm, and we would love to have all of you there if you can make it.  Pass the word around, because the more people that attend, the louder our message will be, and Governor Manchin will hear it ringing through the halls of the Capitol.

Thank you for all of your support, and for helping save Coal River Mountain for a little while longer.

Lorelei, Rory and the Coal River Wind Team.

Our friends at  Coal River Mountain Watch and CLEAN (Citizens Lead for Energy Action Now) have alerted us that Richmond, Virginia based Massey Energy has fast-tracked plans to  start mountain top removal on Coal River Mountain and blasting could occur as early as tomorrow (Wednesday, September 10).  The Coal River Wind Farm is the proposed alternative to destroying the mountain. This project would provide sustainable jobs, preserve heritage, and play an important role in advocating for clean, renewable energy.  The Coal River Wind Farm would also still allow for underground mining to occur while the wind is being harnessed.

Take action! Once the destruction starts, it will be very hard to stop.  West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin has expressed interest in supporting renewable energy.  In White Sulphur Springs on Friday, Manchin claimed that he will push for renewable energy projects and that renewable energy will be the focus of the next State of the State speech. Let him know that you want the Coal River Wind Project to be given more consideration before the blasting occurs and that this is the opportunity that he should take to show that he is serious about clean, renewable energy.

Contact Gov. Manchin here and let him know that more consideration must be given to the Coal River Wind Farm

Check out this article on Yahoo News about Massey’s fast-tracked plans

and this Charleston Gazette article about Manchin’s plans to push for renewable energy projects

Walker Cat Billboards in WV Tout Coal as Clean and Carbon Neutral
Walker Cat Billboards in WV Tout Coal as Clean and Carbon Neutral

Walker Machinery is a family-owned major supplier of heavy equipment such as Caterpillar to the coal industry in West Virginia and Ohio.  Walker’s publicity department is quite active and zealous to portray the beneficial wonders of coal. 

So let’s look at the billboards.  Is Coal Clean?  Is coal Carbon neutral? According to their website, no.  At least not in the present tense, as the billboards would have us believe.  Rather, Walker says, “Science and technology are reengineering coal to be clean and carbon neutral for the 21st Century.” Hasn’t happened… 

Clean coal for the future? Wouldn’t it be nice?  After all, the USA has abundant stores of coal. All our scientists and engineers have to figure out is how to extract the coal without making a mess of the land and water and ecosystems, how to work safely, and how to burn the coal without creating pollutants such as acid, mercury, and carbon dioxide.  Just need some handy industry tax subsidies, university helping hands, and some tax supported infrastructure such as the Marshall County coal to liquid plant, this one about $800 million that will produce 60 jobs. 

The trouble is (speaking to Walker Machinery here), the technology for clean coal (on the combustion side) is unproven and spurious.

A billboard could be put up today that would be truthful if it said the exact opposite of the Walker ad.  Let’s try…”No, Coal. Dirty, carbon spewing.”  Because that is the reality of coal past and present. 

So is Walker lying?  Or just misleading?  Here is a link to scriptures on truthtelling that should underscore the importance of conveying clear messages. 

Your thoughts?