UBBS hats
Last summer I visited southern West Virginia with a friend who introduced me to activists fighting mountain top removal mining. I also visited some of the sites devoted to the history of coal mining in West Virginia — and the memorials to miners killed in the Upper Big Branch coal dust explosion in 2010. The graffiti etched on this memorial reads “God Bless Coal.” My visit to WVA and my ongoing reporting on the Sparrows Point shutdown led to this essay, “A Lethal Nostalgia,” which examines why people feel nostalgic for coal-powered smokestack industries that poisoned the environment and killed so many people.