When driving back with the wife from a trip to Washington several years ago, we took a lazy route north through the Appalachians. It was early summer and it was a stunningly beautiful vista in those ancient mountains. It was a great trip until we crossed into New York State and found a state trooper greeting us at a local speed trap.
The trooper had checked our speed on radar in Pennsylvania where the speed limit was 65 mph. The radar reading was lower. When crossing the state line, there was a sign saying the state limit was 55 mph. There was another a few hundred metres ahead of where he stopped us saying the limit was 45 mph. Reality was that the head of the state police and the New York bar seemed to think it was funny and we should pay off the Town of Carrollton the few hundred dollars (US) they were demanding.
It is also why you will not see us picketing Trump Tower in New York. We do not drive in New York State anymore.
This is to say that Donald Trump really needs to drive south through the Appalachians. He really needs to see the beauty in northern Pennsylvania before he continues south and the picture changes.
The reason many of those Appalachian coal miners are out of work is because coal mining technology has changed. They used to send those poor men into the mines in the mountains to dig out the coal. They do not do that anymore. Too many of them got black lung disease or other problems. They were always suing the mine owners.
Coal mining has changed. Instead of tunneling into the mountain, now they just knock down the damn mountain and use machines to dig the coal. It is faster, cheaper and more profitable for the mine owners—Mr. Trump’s friends and relations. And in a hundred years or so, those lower mountains will have new forests on them to hide the scars.
And if you thought for one minute that Donald Trump gave a damn about all those sick and dying coal miners, you are as ignorant as he is.
Donald Trump signed all that B.S. at the Environmental Protection Agency the other day because he could sit there and say this was on behalf of clean coal. And there is nobody’s blood on this clean coal—it is untouched by human hands.
But it seems that between 65,000 and 75,000 people in the U.S. still consider themselves coal miners. Like cigarette smokers, they are a dying breed.
And yet, it is reported, that over 600,000 jobs in the U.S. are now in the rapidly growing clean energy business. These are jobs making wind turbines and other foolish stuff. Betcha Mr. Trump did not know that!
Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry
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