One thing that being out of power for more than a couple days does do is make you realize how dependent we all have become on ‘the grid’ and how we really need to change that at some point, don’t you think? Between dangers of outages like this, and potential threats from terrorists on our infrastructure, it just seems to make sense that we figure out a way to get the power we need but by decentralizing from The Grid.
Over the last month, since August 4th, we have intermittently had to deal with the smoke and ill air quality of the wildfire in the dismal swamp. There were times when here in our little town there was smoke hanging in the air, and in our very homes when we woke up in the morning and were having trouble breathing. It was particularly bad for my Jim who is on an oxygen concentrator. Thankfully, Hurricane Irene, actually did one thing that was good, it almost (but not quite) put out that wildfire. I hope they can get the 30 or so hot spots put out before it dries out again.
Because I have a problem with the whole issue of dangerous coal ash, and huge coal plants close to people’s homes and spewing dangerous arsenic, and so much more into our air, does not mean I don’t appreciate The Grid or those who work to provide and maintain, and restore that power after natural disasters like this. My only complaint is the dangerous ways in which they often do that; meaning coal – from the cradle to the grave and the health and environmental dangers it poses.
Coal from Mountain Top Removal to this ILL WIND of coal ash that sends ‘sandstorms’ of coal ash directly over the reservation when the winds blow wrong, and other coal plant travesties around the country and around the world, to ODEC trying to get a 1500 MW coal fired power plant in Dendron, VA and Surry County rolling over to get the money they are promised and the empty purse of promised jobs (yeah, how many and for how long, and what of those who live here?) To the whole of a region like Hampton Roads that will be adversely affected by a 1500 MW coal plant with a prevailing wind that will draw that smoke/vapor over other areas in Hampton Roads.
From the text at Youtube:
See the whole project at http://www.earthjustice.org/illwind
The Moapa River Indian Reservation, tribal home of the Moapa Band of Paiutes, sits about 30 miles north of Las Vegas and about 300 yards from the coal ash ponds and landfills of the Reid Gardner Power Station. Coal ash is the toxic ash and sludge left at the end of the coal burning process. It’s laced with arsenic, mercury, lead and other heavy metals. It’s the second largest waste stream in America and it’s currently unregulated.
If the conditions are just wrong, coal ash picks up from Reid Gardner and moves across the desert like a toxic sandstorm sending the local residents running for their homes. The reservation has lung, heart and thyroid disease rates that are abnormally high and the power plant is currently seeking to expand its coal ash storage capability.
The film An Ill Wind tells the Paiute Indians’ story.
View and interactive presentation of the story at:
Watch the complete film at:
And learn more about coal ash at:
Many thanks to the Moapa Band of Paiutes for allowing us to tell this story and to Vinny Spotleson of the Sierra Club and Dan Galpern of the Western Environmental Law Center for helping with the project.
I guess we as individuals and families really do need to start thinking about how we can get ourselves off the grid … if more homes are off the grid, these big coal plants wouldn’t even be considered necessary…