Book review; The True Cost of Coal is a beautiful little book that helps children of all ages explore the devastation of the Appalachian landscape by exploitative coal mining practices.
At present, Nova Scotia Power’s’s sulphur dioxide emissions are capped at 72,000 tonnes a year. NSP revealed to the utility board that the province intends to amend its Air Quality Regulations to allow 90,000 tonnes of emissions for 2021 and 2022. That’s wrong! Energy expert Richard Starr provides the context.
NS Federation of Labour president Danny Cavanagh reflects on 100 years of Nova Scotia history. From the day William Davis was shot to today’s injured miners looking for respect and dignity, not much has changed.
Danny Cavanagh, president of the NS Federation of Labour, reflects on workers’ safety on the anniversary of the New Waterford mine disaster,101 years ago. “It’s time to ensure that laws like the Westray Bill are actually enforced, and to enact policies and legislation that are more than “feel-good” laws that remain nothing more than good talking points for politicians.”
Sometimes I think I should change our name from NS Advocate to something like the Daily Broken Record. I’ve been writing about the safety of the Donkin Mine since my Halifax Media Co-op days. Now there are claims that when one third of the workforce was laid off recently, the company targeted those miners who had expressed concern about safety.
Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s most emissions-intensive provinces. Peggy Cameron wrote an open letter to Stephen McNeil pleading to change that. “You need to say “no” to highways and pipelines that increase our use of fossil fuels. Then you need to tackle this short list: increase renewables for Nova Scotian use, not export; shut down coal-fired generating plants; incentivize regenerative agricultural practices; stop clear-cutting and pesticide-spraying; promote afforestation and value-added production; establish a province wide integrated transportation network; and create a net-zero-carbon building programme.”
This week’s featured video is Cottonland, a 2006 documentary about recovering addict Eddie Buchanan and the damage the prescription painkiller oxycontin is doing to his friends and neighbors in Glace Bay, Cape Breton. It’s also about the shutting down of the coal mines. And it’s about a bunch of exceptional people, loving parents, funny, with big hearts. They’re also thieves who do or did terrible things.
Back home the American owner of the Donkin mine is facing a mine closure, a potentially very costly dispute with shareholders, lawsuits, and a general move away from coal. No wonder its shares tumbled by 80 percent in 2015.
The safety record of US coal mines operated by the new owner of the Donkin mine is worrisome. That’s why unionization is crucial. “When there is no union there and a worker speaks up, I would hope that the company would listen, but they answer to their shareholders. They have to make money, and sometimes they sidestep these issues.”