The Washington Post's David Fahrenthold reports today the latest consensus proclamation from scientists (they are unified because the formerly mainstream media says they are), in which they announce that mountaintop coal mining must be ended. Also, because the FMSM says so, science is principled and has no other interests other than the purity and professionalism of their research:
The group, headed by a University of Maryland researcher, said it performed the most comprehensive study to date of the controversial practice, also known as "mountaintop removal."
Afterward, they did something that scientists usually don't: step beyond data-gathering to take a political stand.
"The science is so overwhelming that the only conclusion that one can reach is that mountaintop mining needs to be stopped," said Margaret Palmer, a professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences and the study's lead author.
Imagine how thrown for a loop Fahrenthold must have been: that scientists took a political stand. Bet you could have knocked him over with a spotted-owl feather. Yes, the untainted Palmer allows nothing to stand in the way of letting science speak for itself, whatever the truth is, as the thorough Post reporter undoubtedly discovered himself with the same simple Google search that I performed (which revealed this E Magazine.com report):
Mine rubble can have long-lasting effects on hydrologic processes and stream ecology, Margaret A. Palmer, a University of Maryland ecologist, told senators at the June hearing.
“There is no evidence to date that mitigation actions can compensate for the lost natural resources and ecological functions of the headwater streams that are buried,” says Palmer, whose work has been commissioned by environmental groups (emphasis mine).
Professional that he is, Fahrenthold did call a representative from the coal industry so he'd have something to put in his 9th paragraph:
Chris Hamilton of the West Virginia Coal Association disputed the report's conclusions.
"It's just flat-out wrong," Hamilton said, adding that the "so-called lead scientists have a history of activism against mining."
The scientists rejected that, saying that they brought no bias to the topic and that their conclusions had been rigorously reviewed by other researchers.
Good enough for this environmentalist reporter for the Post! No need to Google up the ties between Doc Palmer and Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland -- you know, the ones which show her five campaign contributions to him totaling $3,500 over a 19-month period between July 2006 and February 2008, which occurred during the same time frame that Hoyer helped unveil the new Chesapeake Biological Laboratory that Palmer would direct (and nice URL there, University of Maryland -- "Palmerlab!").
Yes indeed, the intrepid Fahrenthold had every reason to be shocked at the unusual move by Palmer to step beyond data-gathering. Breathtaking reporting, there.
Meanwhile, let's enjoy the beauty that is the extraction of a natural resource that generates affordable electricity for all the earth's citizens, rich and poor, who live in countries that are technologically advanced enough to access it:
And we might as well add this: