This Is What We Call A “Teachable Moment.”


CHARLESTON, W.Va.—Officials in Kentucky and Ohio were preparing Monday for the arrival of a slow-moving, 60-mile-long chemical plume drifting toward them down the Ohio River, after its accidental release prompted a five-day water ban here.


While many said they didn’t foresee a major problem, they also weren’t taking chances after the release of the chemical, called 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or MCHM. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said his city is going to shut down its water valves for 48 hours beginning Tuesday night, but has enough stored supply to continue providing water.

That’s a chemical plume sixty miles long, just floating along with the wind — through West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. Through coal country, ironically enough.

This is what happens when we build wasting energy into everything we do. If we didn’t need to burn millions of years’ of fossilized carbon to keep our office buildings lit at night and our unoccupied houses kept at 70 degrees — well, we’d be that much less likely to have clouds of licorice-smelling chemical descending on people.

Tim O’Brien & Kathy Mattea – Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia

Musicians and performers in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio need to point out (politely, of course) that our hunger for “cheap” energy is turning us into bankrupts…and poisoning us along the way. That’s a big part of the Climate Message.

Leather Britches – Ralph Roberts fiddle

Global heating and climate change are a part of the picture, and the most powerful and frightening of the forces we confront. But this type of corporate irresponsibility in the energy sector endangers us no matter how short- or long-term it is. Same bad actors, same subsidized dependency on artificially “cheap” fuel, and the same toxic results.

If you’re playing any gigs in that area, time to speak out.

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