Friday, April 25, 2008

Sundance Channel - Television Premiere!

On Tuesday, May 13th at 9:35, Burning the Future: Coal in America will have its National Television Premiere on The Sundance Channel. Please check local cable/satellite service to make sure Sundance Channel is included in your tier of service.

BTF will be played as part of their "The Green" series of eco-focused films, shorts and other media. It will play three times that week, and again during re-run seasons of "The Green."

Please watch the film and post a review on Sundance Channel's website - linked above and:


Unknown said...

I just viewed this film on the Sundance Channel and feel incredibly moved. My heart goes out to the people of West Virginia. The film is incredibly well done and very informative. I find myself to be on the cutting edge of environmentalism and the green movement....and yet, I had no idea that this environmental/social tradgedy is taking place in our country. Thank you for making this film helping to bring myself and others out of ignorance!!
How do we get this film played on major network channels??? I'll do my part to spread the word.

Unknown said...

I just viewed this film on the Sundance Channel and found it to be incredibly informative. I live in Oregon and consider myself on the forefront of environmental issues and the green movement...and yet...I had no idea these tragic events are taking place in our country. Thank you so much for bringing myself and others out of ignorance.
How do we get this film shown on major networks???

niecey v said...

Thanks for such a great film. I am from WV but, like many, had to leave to pursue economic opportunity. The last time I visited the state, for my Grandmother's funeral, my husband and I flew and came over the southern coal fields. My husband, never having been to WV, was in disbelief. I cried.

As any West Virginian knows, the state possesses a natural beauty that surpasses many popular tourist destinations. But, apparently, it also possesses something that others find more valuable. Unfortunately, the benefits of that resource are usually for people that have never visited the state much less given a thought to it's existence.

Apostrophe said...

What an eye opener! Being from Massachusetts and geographically removed from the problem, I was especially touched by Maria Gunnoe's statement in Times Square - "Do you know your connection?"
I know my connection.
Letters have been written to my legislators urging them to stop the Mountain Top Removals.
I have already taken steps to get my life greener and will continue to do so and urge my friends and neighbors to do likewise. It all starts at the community level, no matter where we are located.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the people most affected by this tragic example of corporate greed, so prevalent under the Bush Regime.
Please continue the fight!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful and tragic story. I had no idea so thank you and all of the people who are getting up everyday and trying to make a difference. Before I even finished watching, I fired off a few emails and unplugged every possible thing that I could, I turn my thermostat up a few degress and I decided that I was going to do whatever I could. This is just one more thing that I can add to my list when I think about the Bush Administration. May there be a special place in hell for all of them. It is a tough situation, but please tell the folks that told their stories that America does care, we really do. It is just hard sometimes to see the truth. Your film did that. Bravo!

Steve said...

I just watched it. Sears the soul... Every American needs to see this...

Anonymous said...

To the makers of and participants in the film, "Burning The Future:"

I just watched this great documentary, not the first I've seen on the horrendous destruction of the Appalachian region and the devastating consequences of coal mining to families in the region, inlcuding (but not limited to) deaths, illnesses, lack of access to clean water, destruction of property and property values, bullying and intimidation by coal companies, and perhaps worst of all, the utter unwillingness of local, state and national elected officials to take action against the coal companies.

Not only will elected officials do nothing, they are more than happy to be "friends of coal" for the purposes of getting themselves elected to office, staying in office and enjoying the perks thereof, and possibly having a profitable job as a coal-industry lobbyist or executive or board member after leaving elected office.

I have long been disgusted by the way that American corporations have become so profit-focused that they simply have no care or concern about anything but the bottom line profits, their "shareholders," and Wall Street. American corporations (and foreign corporations doing business in America) simply don't care about the costs of doing business in terms of irreversible environmental damage, human illnesses, and even the loss of human lives. It is truly sickening.

I've signed the CLEAN petition and also intend to individually write to the EPA, Senators and Congress members of the coal states, as well as their governors, expressing my views on coal mining and demanding an immediate end to mountain-top removal mining and the clean-up of coal-slurry waste from water sources.

My only suggestion for the local grassroots environmental groups is to see if they can find some way to reach out to the coal workers and inform them of the truth about who is taking coal mining jobs--the coal companies by virtue of "efficiency" practices such as mountain-top removal--not environmental groups or their neighbors who have been poisoned or otherwise forced into having no choice but to take action against the further destruction of their lives and communities. As the film makers aptly stated, the coal companies have successfully used the "they're trying to take your jobs--whose side are you on?!" tactics to divide and conquer.

I know that the coal companies have gone as far as running local opponents off the roads and other terrible and dangerous bullying tactics, but perhaps the way to go is by reaching out to the current coal workers very quietly on a one-on-one basis. I'm sure a lot of union coal workers have been told they'll lose their jobs if they're even seen talking to an "activist," but there are ways around everything. Since the number of actual coal miners has dwindled so much, and the activist numbers have risen, perhaps neighbor can reach out to neighbor and establish a calm, factual dialogue. Will they change the miners' minds overnight or in one conversation? No. But if the activists present factual documentation about how many mining jobs have been lost since mountain-top removal began, perhaps the remaining miners might see that they are simply a commodity, and nothing more. The mining companies will dispense with these workers the minute they are no longer useful, due to mining-related illness or injury, age or "efficiency" practices. It's just a thought. You folks know your area best.

I live in Arizona and I do whatever I can to reduce use of resources and purchase only "green" products/clothing, etc. Several years ago, I stopped using my clothes dryer entirely, even for king-size sheets, towels, etc. There is not a single light on in my house except maybe one in the room I'm in. I'm typing in my dark home office only by the light of my computer screen. I participate in a tree-planting program to reduce my carbon footprint to zero on an annual basis. I've encouraged family and friends to do the same.

My next project is to try to get my homeowners' association (HOA) to take our small community totally "off the grid" by fitting solar panels to our roofs or in our yards and using 100% SHARED solar power for the neighborhood and selling or storing any remaining power. We do live in Tucson, Arizona! If I can succeed in doing that here, perhaps others will be inspired to do the same in their communities and the idea will spread. I intend to present my idea at the next HOA board meeting.

We don't need to wait for giant solar power grids/companies, as outlined in "Scientific American," although I totally agree with their plan. Think how much energy could be saved by everyday citizens if every HOA in the country went solar, if they live in a sunny enough place to do so! Or just individuals living in their own homes, not governed by HOA restrictions. For all the resources you need to take your home solar, go to by Gaiam. The company Gaiam has several catalogs & websites, all with household green goods, including water filtration systems, air purification (portable, household) systems, etc., but the Real Goods catalog has been their Solar Living Since 1978 selection of products. There's some overlap between catalogs for the water/air purifiers, but the solar stuff I've only seen in the Gaiam Real Goods catalog. They aim to make it as easy as possible for a person to take their enitre home, or part(s) of it, such as the water heater, totally solar. Perhaps their are tax credits to do this? I don't know. I'd have to call the IRS about that. If not, their should be one, and we should all ask our Congress reps to give us solar-conversion home tax credits.

Anyway, carry on, brave people of the coal states! America is with you--even if they don't know it yet. They just have to learn about your plight. I'll share the website with all in my address book, too.

God Bless all of you who were involved in the film and those who continue to fight daily. I'll pray for the health/safety of all the families in the region and that justice be done for all of you and for the land, its restoration and the end of coal mining forever.

DH, Tucson, Arizona

Sharon said...

Heard you interviewed on Blind Boy Broadcasting and as a life long resident of the Appalachian Mts.I thank you for all your hard work, I have ordered you DVD and look forward to sharing it with my friends. SC, Crossville, Tn

E. A. Wine said...

I just watched the film using my "on demand" feature from my cable. As a native West Virginian now living in New York City I thought it showed proud WV citizens with dignity who are desparately trying to save our great state. I was particularly struck by the scene filmed in Times Square. Our WV mountains, people's homes and their lives are being destroyed so NYC can have bright shiny lights illuminated 24 hours a day to prove this city never sleeps. Mayor Bloomberg should turn the lights off just like environmentally aware citizens do.

Anonymous said...

I want to know if Ms. Gunnoe has a job or if she "draws" a welfare check from the state of West Virginia. If so, the money she gets comes from coal tax revenues.

Pinehill Appliance Service said...

I watched the film on PBS. I know the areas affected by all of this. I am not against coal mining. I worked for 25 years underground as a miner and am proud of it and my heritage. At one time I thought, "What harm does it cause?" Until I did research and used common sense. We do have the right to harvest "responsibly" our resources. But the way we do it is definately causing damage that will never be repaired. I love the area where I was born and call home. But I miss the once magnificent mountains. I see the floods year after year destroy more and more.Well water that can no longer be consumed safely by humans. Again, I am not against mining, but I am against the way our elected officials have approved the extraction of it. Why should it matter to them, they are already rich and besides, they dont live here and have to worry about being covered in a valley fill or being washed away in a spring flood. This post may not be allowed to stay on the site but I cant say I actually blame the coal companies for all the destruction. I blame the ignorant retards that we continue to elect into office each election. Maybe we should file a class action lawsuit against them, including Bush. After all, the folks who are suppose to represent us in government do not really know we exist. And it is evidently clear that our best interest and the safety of our future have never been on their greedy little minds. Here in Wyoming County,WV, after the coal company moves out, the Hatfield McCoy ATV trail system moves in. Good to know that after they take our mountains, they make us a glorified tourist attraction. Yes! It is time that things change.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to the people of West Virginia and the health and safety issues the families have to face daily. My only hope that when a new administration is voted in office shortly, it will listen. Keep fighting~ You deserve better!

anneke campbell said...

Hello David,

Good job - I saw the film at the LA screening and found it informative, moving, and of course infuriating. I would like to put your brave protagonists in touch with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund - they are working with folks in similar sacrifice zones in Pennsylvania and Virginia to create ordinances at the local level that protect communities - it's a new form of organizing that bypasses the EPA etc
If there's a way to get in touch with them, I would gladly be conduit.

David Novack said...

Thank you for your kinds words and desire to help. Please contact the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition. That is where Maria Gunnoe of the film works, and they would be most directly involved in an alliance with CELDF.

Eco Littérateur said...


I watched your film at a screening in NY and it occurs to me now that I had a great question but didn't get the chance to ask. Throughout the film there are several references to God, and certainly not all of them are in line with each other. Was this something that you noticed right away, as in does it naturally permeate the debate? Or was this discovered during editing, and you found it appropriate to make the links? If you get this and have time to reply, I would appreciate it.

Thanks for the great work.


David Novack said...

Chris -
I absolutely noticed it right away. I'm always interested in the ways in which people are able to evoke God in a flexible manner - in a way that supports their personal experience. Perhaps that is part of the ubiquitous, omnipresent nature of God. Thank you for asking.