Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My dreams for the DVD and Website

We're working on the DVD - and it's exciting. My greatest wish from the beginning has been that Burning The Future would be a tool for debate. Certainly, we need the energy we use and we are likely going to need more as technology grows. But we are at a critical turning point for the planet, and for the coal mining regions of Appalachia.

The DVD will expand upon the themes of the film - Digging Deeper to learn more about coal, about grassroots activism, about the collateral affects of coal-fired power, about its contribution to climate change, and about what we all can do. And that's the most exciting part...what we all can do. Plus, it will pop into your computer and link directly to a growing website that will allow provide much more information and allow for interactive debate. I will welcome ALL VOICE in this debate, because no single position is without some merit, some need, some POV that is based in the realities of many people.

Much, much more to come. I'll be sharing these developments as they emerge.


Anonymous said...

I recently saw the film "Kilowatt Ours" which promotes renewable energy over coal and nuclear. "Burning the Future" would make a great double feature with "Kilowatt Ours". It reinforces the message for those of us who are concerned, about the adverse impacts associated with coal from its extraction to its burning. I, for one, can't wait to see "Burning". Let me know as soon as the DVD is available.

Yours is a message that truly needs to get wider exposure, especially as this country seems to be ready to establish reasonable priorities for a comprehensive energy policy. Coal, however, must NOT be portrayed as a cheap, home-grown alternative to foreign oil. The price of coal currently is artificially "cheap" only because all of the COSTS are not factored in: costs associated with its extraction, whether by mountaintop removal/valley fills in WV or by underground longwall mining in southwestern PA -- both cause widespread environmental destruction as well as personal hardship and devestation. Coal's processing causes land and water quality degradation, and its burning causes both air and water impacts. None of these impacts/costs are being borne by the coal companies, who simply reap their profits from using fewer miners, more advanced mining technologies, and weakened environmental regulations.

I have been working as a private-sector ecological consultant for the past 30 years. During that time I have been intimately involved with state and federal wetland and water quality-related regulatory programs, and also with mining regulatory issues. I recently provided extensive comments in opposition to the OSM proposal to relax the stream buffer rules.

Although I most certainly lay blame on the coal companies for the destruction and problems they are causing, I tend to find even more fault with the State and Federal regulatory agencies who are SUPPOSED to be protecting the environment, but are not. At least the coal companies are guided by a profit motive -- it is hard to blame them entirely for not spending money to compley with regulations that are not being enforced. I am more at odds with the environmental regulatory agencies who are not diligently or consistently enforcing the environmental laws and regulations that have been put in place to protect the public from the adverse impacts of coal mining/processing/burning operations. If these agencies (who are supposed to represent OUR interests) are not enforcing the rules, how can we expect the industry to do so?

Before these half-cocked proposals to provide "alternative" energy through coal-to-fuel or other "clean" coal technologies - which are more like daydreams than proven realities - are rammed down our throats and through our pocketbooks by an Administration that can't seem to see past its traditional (coal/oil/nuclear) corporate welfare systems, we need to identify a better way - a cleaner and less environmentally destructive way - a way that provides sources of energy and energy independence without causing widespread environmental damage. It CAN be done. It just takes a WILL to do it. And a political vision which currently is lacking.

Best of luck to you in spreading the message.

Stephen P. Kunz
Senior Ecologist
Schmid & Company, Inc.
Media, PA

Anonymous said...

How can I purchase this film for distribution in my community?

puffypuff said...

Sounds interesting! Where can I find this DVD film?