Years ago when living in Pennsylvania, it was a short Sunday afternoon drive to the mountaintops of the state’s share of the Appalachian Trail. An autumn trip on interstate 81 provided spectacular color and views of the surrounding countryside.
Unfortunately easy access to this mountain interstate also provided to the city of Philadelphia an inexpensive place to dump their garbage and to international corporations cheap land for construction of gigantic distribution centers. Landfills and warehouses began to dot the views along the roadway.
Strip mining for coal also became more profitable because of the interstate access. It was cheaper and easier than the shafts and tunnels of traditional mining. Huge gouges appeared in the previously pristine landscape. Pennsylvania was not the only victim as other states such as West Virginia suffered the same pillage and rape.
I receive newsletters from YES MAGAZINE via e-mail. Today’s mailing details the recovery efforts of one such mining area in West Virginia. Dedicated environmentalists, enlisting local residents facing unemployment due to a decline in coal mining, are attempting to build farm communities over the filled-in mines and covered-over landfills where the devastation occurred during the past decades.
Granted, it’s an economic undertaking to improve the lives of local residents, but can we also see these works as acts of love directed to restore our Creator’s creation? Love is not only for mankind, but for every mountain, every river, every forest, every tree, every creature put here for our enjoyment and need.
“I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made it detestable.” JEREMIAH 2:7
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