From the Ashes (2017)

PG   |    |  Documentary


From the Ashes (2017) Poster

From the Ashes captures Americans in communities across the country as they wrestle with the legacy of the coal industry and what its future should be under the Trump Administration. From ... See full summary »


7/10
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Director:

Michael Bonfiglio

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26 June 2017 | rmax304823
8
| Coal: An Adhesion From the Past.
We are desperately in need of programmatic films like this. The difficulty is that those most in need of this information are those least likely to expose themselves to it.

The documentary covers most aspects of the current fuel situation, focusing on coal -- it's mining, transportation, treatment, and its economic and environmental impact. It's continued use leads to a carnival of horrors.

The conclusion, drawn not just from this film but from multiple credible sources, is that coal belongs in the 19th century as a source of energy and that many of us cling to its use either because we don't understand the economics involved or because any alternative threatens their world view.

It doesn't help when the federal government, dominated by conservative businessmen, lie in order to promote the notion that coal mining is "coming back." It's not. The lies are blatant. It isn't mentioned in this program but Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, claimed recently that 50,000 jobs had been created this year in the coal mining industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 1,300 over the same period.

No one should underestimate either the damage caused by the use of coal or the strength of the forces supporting its use.

The program is informative and sometimes moving. The descriptions of mining and transportation are adequately covered but there are also illustrations of its impact on families, including children.

We've changed our major sources of fuel before. We used to rely entirely on wood and whale oil, then coal, then oil. And now it's time to switch again to renewable sources. But our defiance of any change, our clinging desperately to a dying tradition, prevents us from doing the rational thing, namely putting research and development into alternative energy sources. China is now the leading producer of solar panels and wind turbines. They're ahead of the curve. If you install a solar panel or a small wind turbine on your own property in Oklahoma, an oil state, you pay a penalty.

How can something so obvious, so simple, be denied by so many Americans?

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