Category Archives: environmentalism

Slow Burn in Centralia

Fifty years ago today, workers in Centralia, PA, began burning trash at a site over an old mine entrance just outside of the town. That fire is still burning to this day. The fire ignited the coal and then continued to spread underground. Officials spent twenty years trying to put it out, but each effort failed. Eventually, between gasses it releases, and the extreme heat and pressures that causes the ground to destabilize and result in fissures and sinkholes the town of Centralia eventually decided to close shop. For the most part, Centralia exists today as a site that encompasses a number of types of disasters: industrial, environmental, economic, and individual. That last one comes into play because, like the story of Treece I posted last week, not everyone has abandoned Centralia. Despite the site now being owned by the state and most of the town’s buildings and homes being bulldozed, a few folks still insist on calling Centralia home.

I’ve seen two decent stories about Centralia in the last couple days. The first is an AP story collected at Huffington Post focuses a bit more on the former towns residents today and includes some pictures. The second, a story from Smithsonian.com by Kevin Krajick focuses on the story of the coal fire on a larger scale. The scope of this coal fire is impressive to say the least, but the fact that stood out to me is the sheer number of these sorts of fires that are raging throughout the world at this moment.

As I said in my link to the story about Treece, I suspect I’ll be coming back to write about these stories in the future.

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Trees, Poverty, and Some Big Pictures

This post over at Per Square Mile makes some stunning juxtapositions through satellite photos that highlight the presence of trees in economically rich and poor regions. It’s worth a look.

A Series of Unrelated Links

Some stuff I’ve recently come across:

Intriguing piece by Greg Rucka at Io9 on his writing strong female characters in his work.

Wes Enzinna has a powerful article at the New York Times Sunday Magazine about Treece Kansas, a now abandoned mining town. I’m really fascinated by areas and towns that have been destroyed through such extremem environmental and economic degradation. I suspect I’ll be writing more on them in the future.

An older story about the salt mines under Detroit at Environmental Graffiti.

Rob Lammie goes in depth into the Animaniacs over at Mental Floss.

Parking makes one do funny things…

I’m not sure how I ran across this article on parking (of all things) at the Los Angeles Magazine, but it’s a fascinating read. Fittingly enough, I started reading it while I was in Seattle last week and becoming outraged over the price of parking. It’s a fascinating article for something we tend to take for granted (or that drives us slightly crazy). Either way, I highly recommend giving it a read through. In particular, I was interested in the implication that environmentalism and market forces could work towards beneficial ends in regards to urban parking issues.

Tar Sands Protest and Verizon Strike

Two stories I hope to go into in more depth in the relatively near future:

Tar Sands Action Protest in D.C. via Huffington Post

Verizon Workers Return to Work Without New Contract via NPR