Exploring the Eclipse of Equality

Posts Tagged ‘Energy’

Lust for the Lure of the Mine: The drama of true cost accounting

In Class and Social Stratification on April 9, 2010 at 10:24 am

Where danger is double  and the pleasures are few. Where the rain never falls,  the sun never shines, it’s dark as a dungeon way down in the mines. There’s many a man  I’ve seen in my day who lives just to labor  his whole life away. Like a fiend with his dope  And a drunkard his wine, a man will have lust  for the lure of the mine.

Dark as a Dungeon by Merle Robert Travis

One can’t consume news today without confronting the tragedy of the coal miners in West Virginia, who are still trapped in a coal mine so dangerous that rescuers can’t hazard a rescue without retreat. We have a sister story that has something of a happy ending in China that received almost no coverage here, but which highlights a problem we have as a species–our need for what some scientists call “energy servants,” brings costs that we only face when we can no longer look away. Today, the nation mourns the loss of twenty five miners and fears the loss of four more, but how many of us are thinking about this in global strategic terms? Is there a conflict here that we are missing?

Of course there is reason to blame and to criticize the coal mine’s owner. We have seen quite a few reports on how the coal mine had over a thousand safety warnings in just the past few years. In fact, just prior to the explosion, there were methane warnings and, as Read the rest of this entry »

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