Stop the Attack on the Appalachian Orogeny!

11 February, 2010

We just got our first major winter storm (well, first one down in the valley (which is actually the Wyoming Valley and the Lackawanna Valley (but people are lazy here (for instance, Luzerne County Community College is known throughout the valley as LCC)))) for about three years.  Almost ten inches here in Wilkes-Barre.  So what did I do?

Well, I disabled a snowblower (the little old lady two houses down lets us use her snowblower if we also dig her out).  I shoveled snow.  I made pizza (don’t worry, this is not a Thursday Gourmet post).  And I designed a truly geo-geeky anti-mountain top removal mining poster.  I don’t think it’ll be all that popular.  After all, without looking it up, how many of you know what an orogeny is?

I strongly urge anyone interested in stopping this geo-rape to visit www.mountainjustice.org, www.ilovemountains.org, or www.sierraclub.org.

And orogeny?



  1. We’ve got the same problem here in Kentucky, where the coal and mining interests pretty much control the gummint. I’ve been wondering why the religious fanatics are such a huge factor in keeping the eco-destroyers in office, but I think I know now. Because they won’t take the time to look anything up in a book other than their bible, the fundies get bent out of shape when they hear that some people want to save our orogenous zones.

    • “Save our orogenous zones”?!

      I worked at a theatre in West Virginia many years ago and met a great guy who wrote a play about coal miners called “Dinner Hole”. He took the actors to a coal mine one day to give us an idea of what we were meant to portray. If that cold, wet, dirty hole in the ground was an example of an orogenous zone, then I’m not sure orogeny is for me.
      In fact, I’m pretty sure The Lord is against orogeny, too. Aren’t His brand-loyalists always telling us to cover them up and not to show them on TV?

      • I thought that Gawd loved making mountains. Or his followers making mountains out of molehills.

  2. Larry: There is also a strong anti-conservation strain within fundamentalism. If Jeebus is returning (within ‘my’ lifetime), why bother to protect nature? God charged man with controlling and taming nature, so what could be more tame than removing mountains? And (as ex-Secretary of the Interior Watt once said), God gave us all these natural resources; when Jeebus comes again, he will be upset that we haven’t used up all the resources. Basically, fundamentalism breeds a ‘take care of me now and god(s)/Jeebus/someone will make things okay for my kids’ mentality. If the earth is only 6k years old, then the assumption is that the end of the world will come real soon, so why bother?

  3. We have the same problem in the Virginia mountains too. As in Kentucky, mining interests have pretty big influence in state affairs here.

    I nominate “orogeny” as the most misleading word in the English language. It sounds like it should be something much more fascinating, even entertaining, than it actually is.

  4. We see a lot of it around here. There’s a mountain top just outside of Cumberland, MD, that’s disappeared over the years, and we pass several on US 22 especially near Blairsville.

    Sometimes they cut into a pyrite deposit and all the water turns to sufuric acid, but hey!

    It’s not personal, it’s just business. That makes it all right, I suppose.

  5. Waaht would you have them do? Shut down all themines, put everyone in WV, KT, TN, VA out of work just so a few useless mountaintops will be preserved? Preserved for what? We are in the Final Days. The End of the Earth is coming soon as foretold in the One Book of Everlasting Truth as Written by the Hand of God. And what will we burn for electricity? Murdered babies?

    • Lots of fat in babies, Matthew. You may be on to something when it comes to renewable resources.

    • Yes, thank you, Matthew, for your excellent suggestion. Murdering babies and burning them for fuel, I must admit, would probably not have occurred to me. It takes someone who can believe six impossible things before breakfast to come up with the really groundbreaking new ideas. Keep up the good work.


    (It’s still legal – and always God-honoring – to air messages like the following. See Ezekiel 3:18-19. In light of government backing of raunchy behavior (such offenders were even executed in early America!), maybe the separation we really need is the “separation of raunch and state”!)

    In Luke 17 in the New Testament, Jesus said that one of the big “signs” that will happen shortly before His return to earth as Judge will be a repeat of the “days of Lot” (see Genesis 19 for details). So gays are actually helping to fulfill this same worldwide “sign” (and making the Bible even more believable!) and thus hurrying up the return of the Judge! They are accomplishing what many preachers haven’t accomplished! Gays couldn’t have accomplished this by just coming out of closets into bedrooms. Instead, they invented new architecture – you know, closets opening on to Main Streets where little kids would be able to watch naked men having sex with each other at festivals in places like San Francisco (where their underground saint – San Andreas – may soon get a big jolt out of what’s going on over his head!). Thanks, gays, for figuring out how to bring back our resurrected Saviour even quicker!

    [If you would care to learn about the depraved human “pigpen” that regularly occurs in Nancy Pelosi’s district in California, Google “Zombietime” and click on “Up Your Alley Fair” in the left column. And to think – horrors – that she is only two levels away from being President!]

  7. I tried orogeny once, the paper just did not want to fold correctly for me. The damn swan never even looked like a bird. ….and now that I have actually looked up orogeny (yes, I had to, make fun now) I see that I am not all that far off despite trying for poor humor (success! it was poor!). And (((Billy))), Firefox is not impressed with your vocabulary, it thinks that orogeny is spelled incorrectly. Merriam-Webster likes you though, so you have that going for you.

    And two questions:
    Matthew: where the hell is KT? You referring to the boundary between the cretaceous and tertiary periods? Good job then, geology is for everyone!

    Martha: just…., well, WTF?

    • KT event… lol good one!

  8. Chappie: The influence of the mining industry in American politics is disturbing. As it was a hundred years ago.

    Sarge: Just about any rock exposed to the air and then water will create at least some acid. Pyrite can be nasty, though. I remember rafting/kayaking the North Branch of the Potomac — light blue water, Tang coloured rocks.

    Matthew: Oh, I don’t know. Maybe lead the world into a post-fossil-fuel world? With the jobs that would create?

    Nan. Heh, heh.

    Martha: Welcome back, you nutcase.

    Gareth: The geologic folds tend to be more swoopy than the paper ones.

    Maybe he meant KY? I doubt he’s familiar with the KT horizon. (Sorry, Geologue — my bad. Should have been horizon in the first place)

  9. (((Billy)))
    Don’t mention KY around Mathew! He’ll get all embarrassed. He prolly turns off the teevee when those ads come on.

  10. The pyrites pretty much boogered up the water shed along here for al long time ( near the Johnstown Flood Museum there is a creek that flows what amounts to battery acid, and several around our town)plus up to a couple of years ago a deposit uncovered near State College pretty much stopped construction of I 99 up to a couple of years ago.

    Strangers and tourists in our area often ask about the way that our mountains look around here, the peaks have some interesting dips. It’s because of the mining activity of a century and more ago.

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