Harmful environmental practices can’t always be avoided.
Mountaintop removal coal mining is a form of surface mining that includes blasting the top of a mountain with explosives to access coal seams underneath. Temple Community Against Mountaintop Removal organized this fall to protest the relationship between Temple and PNC Bank, a financier of companies engaging in mountaintop removal coal mining.
As Angelo Fichera explores this week in “Bridging Mountains,” p. 1, mountaintop removal coal mining has detrimental effects on the environment and on the communities in which it takes place.
In its 2011 “Policy and Practice” report, the Rainforest Action Network and Sierra Club ranked PNC Bank as a top financier of companies engaging in mountaintop removal coal mining. In 2010, PNC changed its policy concerning mountaintop removal coal mining financing and states that it will not extend credit to individual mountaintop removal coal mining projects or to a coal producer that receives a majority of its production from mountaintop removal coal mining. But critics of the policy claim that big coal companies are not receiving a majority of the production through mountaintop removal coal mining.
Additionally, TCAMR takes issue with J. William Mill III, a member of the Board of Trustees and regional president of PNC in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.
The Temple News obviously discourages practices that are environmentally harmful. But we understand that it is not necessarily realistic or practical to expect the Board of Trustees to take a political stance on the issue. However, we heavily encourage individual members of the Board of Trustees and the entire Temple community to demonstrate a commitment to the environment and to sustainable practices.
The Temple News always encourages student activism, and is proud of the efforts of students in trying to educate the campus community about mountaintop removal coal mining.
Thanks for all the wonderful coverage on our group so far TU News!
My comment is concerned with the simple phrase that it is not “realistic or practical to expect the Board to take a political stance on the issue.” Whether stated explicitly, as in the various vision and mission statements of the colleges at Temple and the commission of the Office of Sustainability, or implicitly, as in tuition hikes and business relationships, institutions are designed to wield power and thus are inherently political in all of their activities. So it is not a question of whether they wish to take a political stance at all. Rather, we recognize the Board already has a political stance on this issue – whether or not they are aware of it – and we wish to alter that stance. This is the essence of direct action activism: confronting and impacting concentrations of power.
You and your friend’s not taking showers is environmentally harmful.