"How then, do we create that Sacred Zone? It starts, as it must, with the end of Mountain Removal."
A Sacred Zone is a brilliant concept.* They are absolutely what needs to happen -- everywhere. Recognizing the Earth as a great, contiguous blessing that we've all been gifted, is key to the survival of our species. Gratitude for the gift is a necessary component for proper stewardship of it.
I believe that the process for ending Mountain Top removal begins with the immediate devaluation of coal. Recognizing the true value of coal as nil, in the context of cheap, available regionally distributed alternative fuel sources, will stop the extraction of coal. Proportionate respect for true costs and dangers of extractive resource economics means eliminating those industries that potentiate extinction. If there were available alternatives to coal, people wouldn't mine it. The fact is there is an alternative to coal that has been suppressed for so long, that people no longer even consider it an option: Industrial hemp -- How bad do things have to get before all solutions are considered?
Hemp agriculture is critical to producing abundant organic biofuels AND highly nutritious food -- FROM THE SAME HARVEST! People who criticize biofuels because they are concerned about food security would be reminded about hemp.
Seeds for protein-rich food and stalks for biomass ethanol, cellulosic hydrogen, pyrolytic charcoal fuels, grown organically, sustainably, with multiple agronomic benefits. All that needs to change is our spiritual regard and essential respect for the world's most useful and nutritionally complete agricultural resource.
What used to be considered "environmental externalities," dismissed as unquantifiable and therefore not counted at all, are coming to be recognized as critical components of a very delicate system upon which all life depends. Quality of life, an unpolluted environment, the value of peace all matter in ways that ultimately determine the existence of the human economics that fails to take them into account.
Time is the limiting factor in the equation of survival. Every springtime that passes is gone forever.
Unless We the People reclaim the ancient relationship of respect and gratitude that has existed between religion and agriculture, our spiritual bankruptcy will prove a greater threat than economic insolvency.
*Thanks and much respect to Van Jones and Bob Kincaid