Friday, August 20, 2010

Musician Emmylou Harris takes on powerful coal miners

"Today, the Appalachians are being ravaged by the most destructive form of coal mining ever devised. Companies are blowing entire mountaintops to smithereens to get at the thin seams of coal below. Already 500 peaks have been leveled, wide swaths of forests have been clearcut, miles of streams have been destroyed or polluted, and countless communities have been harmed by the hunger for fossil fuel.

from the website of Music Saves Mountains

At the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Tennessee renowned US musician Emmylou Harris did something that few Australian musicians are willing to do. She took aim at the powerful US coal industry to bring attention to the destructiveness of the strip mining of coal across the Appalachian Mountains, which cover the US states of Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee.

Harris organized the Music Saves the Mountains concert, in conjunction with the Natural Resources Defense Council, to give voice to the dissent and protest of thousands of ordinary people who have fought for years against the coal miners who destroy mountains, environments, livelihoods and communities in their pursuit of coal. A slide show of the immense destruction caused by strip mining can be viewed on the website of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The American environmental magazine Orion has this article on Emmylou Harris's involvement.

As the rapacious coal miners eye off the Margaret River region in the South West of this state to expand coal mining, Harris's act of political protest has a powerful resonance here in Australia. Let's see some Australian musicians take on the coal miners in this country.

No comments: