The brand new documentary From the Ashes was screened at First Church on June 8 by the Green Ministry Team. It is a comprehensive and up-to-the-minute exploration of the issues surrounding coal production and it’s use. It is both sympathetic to the plight of those affected by the shifts in the industry—the most vulnerable as is too often the case—and a strong critique of the environmental, health and economic effects of coal.
Here are just a few takeaways from the film:
• the primary shifts in coal production are due as much to the changing market and mechanization as to regulation, although in the current political climate the EPA is often blamed
• that as plants have closed, coal companies have taken little or no responsibility for the workers that have been abandoned
• that toxic chemicals (including mercury and arsenic) and coal ash are hazardous by-products of coal mining that affect the health not only of workers but those nearby as well (including those along coal train routes where the dust from open coal containers flies freely)
• that “clean coal” technology has either failed or is financially not viable; and
• that the green energy industry is creating new jobs.
The film, highly recommended, will be shown at the Albany Library on Tuesday, June 20 at 7 pm and on June 25 at 9 pm on the National Geographic Channel.
Download a pdf of the Education Guide for From the Ashes, which provides much of the content found in the film.