Google Earth, or Captian Planet?

Rather than throw useless entries up on this site as filler until I leave at the end of the month, I thought I would use this time to remotely take you to some locations that deserve some attention, even if you never step foot there. A great way to do this is using Google Earth.

For this entry I want to take you to Pike County, Ky. In reality though, it could be Anycounty, Appalachia. I am directing you there to show you a form of surface mining referred to as mountaintop removal. It’s Getting Hot In Here has a short video worth checking out and SEATTLEDIRT has some great aerial photography showing mountaintop removal sites in West Virginia. This is a site I found using Google Earth (click the image to view full size or download Mountaintop Removal.kmz):

Pike County, KY

If you don’t already have Google Earth, you can download it for free. It is a great resource and I have a link on my download page. If you have Google Earth, expand the Global Awareness layer and make sure the Mountaintop Removal layer is checked. This will show you many other landscapes that have been altered due to this process. Once you view a few locations you won’t really even need the layer because you will be able to identify these sites with little effort, even without zooming in very far. They literally scar the entire Appalachian landscape. If the process can create this much change in the physical landscape, can you imagine how great an impact it has on the lives of those inhabiting the surrounding areas?