The Spectacle Blog

Coal Workers Are Heroes

The coal mining tragedy in West Virginia shows that we should celebrate and appreciate the people who take on this difficult work as much as we do soldiers, police officers and firefighters (and there are others).

By on 4.10.10 | 8:52AM

The coal mining tragedy in West Virginia shows that we should celebrate and appreciate the people who take on this difficult work as much as we do soldiers, police officers and firefighters (or others). It is because of their sacrifice that we enjoy the blessings of low-cost energy, which increases our quality and length of life. The Competitive Enterprise Institute's Iain Murray spoke to this, from his heart, earlier this week:

So whenever tragedy strikes a mining town as it does and as it has since the beginning of the industry, it's important to keep in mind that the people of coal country are not villains. Cynical exploitation of a disaster by anti-mining activists is no help to mining communities.

By opposing mountaintop removal and the operation of private property rights that are the workable solution to the pollution problem, they have helped ensure that coal miners must operate underground, in conditions of great risk, rather than outdoors.

The hazards and pollutants (not CO2) from coal are real, but the evidence shows the benefits we draw from access to affordable energy far outweigh the costs. No other so-called "green" energy source has shown itself to be as efficient or dependable. Technological advancement has allowed us the opportunity to access this resource more safely and effectively than ever. But once again, environmental extremism takes sides against humanity and in favor of the dirt and vegetation they worship.

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