I saw an item on this last night on the BBC as well. It was appalling.
The spokesman for the coal industry said something like, "We are sitting on all this coal, it is a gift and we should be taking advantage of it. To not use it would be criminal." And the story went on to point out that coal-fired power plants are still the main the source of electricity in the United States. So by that logic, he is right. Without the coal, the power plants - as they are - stop operating, and the power stops flowing.
But it is also like the farmer killing the goose that lays the golden egg. Instead of scaling back on the coal-fired plants and eking out the coal that we know is there so that it lasts a long time, we destroy the mountains, take all the coal out at once, shovel it into the fire to keep the lights on, and then .... then it's all gone.
So instead of planning for a low-energy consumption future, it seems we are going for a vast power-gorging spree - exploit every last non-renewable resource just as fast as we can so we can kid ourselves that everything will be all right in the end and life will go on just as it does now, and we never need change the way we live or our relationship with our dear little planet.
Mountains not only help control weather patterns, they are home to millions of creatures and millions of trees that are helping to control carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
And as druids, we should be concerned with the spirit of these places. This would be dismissed out of hand by the industrialists, but the genius locii of the mountains, valleys, streams, springs, groves, meadows, glades, the spirit of stone, water and wood, the wild creatures who all make up the divinity of our planet, are destroyed and we are all diminished by their destruction.
But let's keep the conversation to economics, at least the multi-national conglomerates and power companies might accept it if you couch it in monetary cost-benefits analysis.
What a world we are leaving our children ...
yr pal, Fox
"So good luck came, and on my roof did light, like noiseless snow."
– Robert Herrick, from 'The Coming of Good Luck'