Monday, February 11, 2008

A Short Note

© By Albert A Rasch
Just a short note to my friends for this week.
I’ll be out of town for most of the week. As much as I wish it was something entertaining, it is a business trip to Chicago, where the weather is going to be in the single digits. Did I mention I live in Florida? Wish me luck…
On a brighter if not necessarily warmer note, among the articles I am working on is a continuation of the Hog Hunting Series. Next I’ll be covering the equipment aspect of the hunt. The following one will be on techniques and tactics; but that’s for the future.
On the Stop Mountain Top Removal campaign, I have two more essays in the works. This project has really taken me. My family is getting involved; we are working on getting the local schools to help by partnering up with schools in distress in the Appalachian region.
As an example, there is a school, Marsh Fork Elementary, which is in danger from a coal silo less than one hundred yards away that spews coal dust, and a toxic mine waste impoundment that is 400 hundred yard upstream. That impoundment is leaking according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration. This impoundment holds over two billion gallons of toxic waste sludge. Here is a picture and more details. Sludge Impoundment
If my math is correct, that is 267 million, 361 thousand, 111 cubic feet of polluted liquid. Just to put it in perspective, if you live in a home that is 2,500 square feet with ceilings that are eight feet, you have approximately 20 thousand cubic feet of living space within your home. Your home and 13,367 other homes would be filled with what is currently contained in that leaking impoundment. Or to put it another way, imagine a cube measuring 651 feet per side. The average human pace is less than three feet; go outside on a long, straight stretch of your street, and pace out two hundred steps, you will still be short of the sizes involved. That’s three acres per side; twenty seven cubic acres of poisons and destruction!
West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin will not do anything to help have the school moved to a safe location. I hope he’s not in the pocket of Ol’ King Coal… but he is a politician, what are the odds…
As I develop or learn of new strategies more essays and articles will appear. I and all the other people that are involved in this ARE going to stop the coal companies’ greed induced destruction of our American Appalachia, its communities, and peoples. Remember, it might not be your backyard, but it is someone’s. Let us be the champions and stewards of the entire outdoors, not just our own little backyard.

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues…
BTW: Here's a quick shot of my loading bench. Yeah, its my reading area too. And the computer work station. And underneath is my phase contrast microscope, so its a lab on occasion also.