Sunday, April 11, 2010

Maria Gunnoe

The electricity powering my computer comes from coal, which ties me and everyone else using coal-powered electricity to the impacts of mining coal: the deaths in mines, black lung, destroyed ecosystems, climate change, and filling in valleys with the tops of mountains that have been blown apart in the quest for more. Although I wish my power company would stop burning coal altogether, while we are, I'm celebrating the EPA's announcement this week to tighten water standards for coal mines in Appalachia, which could stop the practice called "mountaintop removal." We wouldn't have gotten this change without the bravery and tenacity of people like Maria Gunnoe, who has fought this dirty practice for years, at great personal expense. In 2009 she won the Goldman Prize for North America, in recognition of her contributions to changing the world.