Dr. Margaret Palmer on the Colbert Show

The recently released report “Mountaintop Mining Consequences”, published in Science’s January issue can be summarized by lead author Margaret Palmer of the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Sciences statement to the Washington Post: “The science is so overwhelming that the only conclusion that one can reach is that mountaintop mining needs to be stopped.”

Media coverage of the report, and its potential implications for policy decisions at the federal and state levels, has been substantial including excellent analysis by the WV Gazette’s Ken Ward and Grist’s David Roberts.

Perhaps in an attempt to lighten up the tone of conversation on a very emotional and controversial topic, comedian Stephen Colbert—best known for his satirical style portrayed through the mock-news cable show the Colbert Report—hosted Dr. Palmer on his January 18th show.

A report released this week by the consulting firm Downstream Strategies, “The Decline of Central Appalachian Coal and the Need for Economic Diversification” reinforces the largely tongue-in-cheek exaggerated simplifications drawn by Colbert that the problem of mountaintop mining may soon, by default, solve itself by driving out the region’s job opportunities, natural resources and communities.See post on Downstream Strategies report for more information.

Kristin Tracz

About Kristin Tracz

Kristin Tracz served MACED’s Research and Policy team from 2009-2012 working on clean energy policy, energy efficiency programs and the Appalachian Transition Initiative. She joined MACED after finishing her Master of Environmental Management degree at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She now lives and works in Washington, DC.