In the fall of 1990, as the United States prepared for the first Gulf War, I was the editor of a weekly newspaper in Matewan, West Virginia. During the buildup, local leaders decided to organize a “Support the Troops” rally. While they weren’t sure about going to war in the Middle East, no one wanted to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Watching the buildup to the midterm election, it seems like we need to take the same approach to the “war on coal”. Most of the political ads tell us that regulations against coal are an attack on coal miners. There are those who suggest anything but blind allegiance to the coal industry is the equivalent of treason. Sorry to say, but it isn’t that simple.
In August, I wrote about a political staffer attacking West Virginia poet Crystal Good calling her a “poverty profiteer”. (You can read that column here.) A few days later another West Virginia poet, Kirk Judd from Morgantown, sent me one of his poems. It’s a great demonstration that the issue is much more complex than 30 second political ads want to make it.
The Campfires of the Hunters
(The economics of controlled harvesting)
By Kirk Judd