False Front

The city of Littlecoal, WV was very remote. Documentary filmmaker Joyce Morton had to walk five miles in sweltering July heat just to meet “Granny.”

Granny lived in a ramshackle home beside Main Street…a dirt road.

“This town was booming during the good ol’ coal days,” said Granny. “There was food on the table fer ever’body.”

“And then the coal company your family owned went bust,” prompted Joyce.

“Yep. Hurt us bad. Whole towns died.”

Joyce looked around at the home’s worn out interior. “It must be awful living in poverty.”

“Poverty? squeaked Granny. “Oh, I just keep this place for show. The family bought into renewable energy since then.” She led Joyce into the back yard where electric BMW and Tesla supercars waited. “Let’s get you a ride back to town.”

Joyce just gaped.

“Hope you don’t mind ’em,” said Granny. “Our private helicopter is in the shop.”
Written for What Pegman Saw: https://whatpegmansaw.com/2017/10/07/littleton-west-virginia/

Author’s Notes:

Energy Jobs are out there, they just aren’t in coal. Pretending to revive a failing energy industry like coal, with a poor future, seems like throwing good money after bad. What folks in West Virginia have gone through is awful. How about giving them a viable, realistic hope by retraining for a booming energy industry that offers far more jobs than coal? According to EESI, direct and indirect coal jobs amount to over 160 thousand jobs nationwide. That doesn’t leave much for West Virginia’s slice of the pie. Renewable energy jobs currently employ 3.3 million!

It’s the job that matters, not whether its coal or not. Promising to restore the coal industry is nothing less than an empty, false promise.

More and more supercars are going electric or at least hybrid. Here’s what BMW’s offering looks like:

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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26 Responses to False Front

  1. k rawson says:

    YES. Love this piece and the hopeful message. Agree 1000%.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this. It’s similar to the guy who has an amazing car that looks like wreck on the outside.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jelli says:

    Love the sly little twist of this tale. My hubby has been applying for many different renewable energy jobs, but dangit, they all require driving licenses which given his epilepsy he doesn’t have. H.R. people’s first reaction to that “no drivers license” is that he lost it doing something stupid like driving drunk/drugged, which isn’t true. So, the jobs may be there, but if they aren’t willing to hire people capable of doing the job, well…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. pennygadd51 says:

    That’s an interesting mixture. On the one hand, you have the former owners of the coal company still living in luxury, while their employees suffer; on the other hand, you champion renewable energy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Well, the owners did live in poverty for a time. Buying into renewables (with its skyrocketing growth) brought them back out of it. And then of course the former coal employees took on the renewable jobs, so they aren’t suffering either.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lyn says:

    Late last year, the state of South Australia, who, incidentally, want to close all coal fired power stations by 2020 had a statewide blackout. The wind turbines they have were knocked out of the game because they hadn’t factored tornadoes into the picture. How big is the state of South Australia? Well, it’s 380,070 mi². How big is that compared to states in America? Texas is 261,797.12 square miles. When you look at it that way, that’s an awful lot of homes, businesses, schools and hospitals that had no power. Renewable power is the future, but when you’re talking “bigger than Texas,” it’s not going to happen by 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      I just read up on this, this causes are many, and some of the fault is in the windfarms, and ultimately led to a faulty setting in the Heywood Interconnector trying to provide too much power too fast from Victoria. This tripped circuits and SA went dark. Mind you, windfarms are not creating ALL of SA’s power yet, so what happened to the other power sources? Why weren’t they working? Well, they weren’t damaged and neither were the wind farms. Faulty settings in power management (including the wind farms) caused a complex series of failures.

      I realize folks think renewable energy sources aren’t ready for the big leagues. Changing to anything new is scary and filled with uncertainties. Thing is we already know that our old, crusty, reliable clunker (fossil fuels) is slowly killing us and will eventually let us down. With demand for power increasing by the hour, it will certainly fail us. There’s no other possibility. We have to start with alternatives somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. prior.. says:

    I learned a bit here…
    well first let me reply to the fiction.
    nice twist with granny’s cars at the end – and at first I thought you would say that she did not think she was in poverty – because i Have heard that many people in lower poverty just feel it is the norm….
    but you had the twist
    then the note – which I am still chewing on….
    “It’s the job that matters, not whether its coal or not.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      That’s a good to hear. You know I can’t resist a little twist in the end. I do hope the last note make sense. Folks in West Virginia are expecting the coal industry to return and partly because of political promises. Personally, I don’t believe those promises are possible for everyone. Promising a different kind of job “can be” viable and one that could come true.

      Thanks for stopping in! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Eric,

    So much has already been said that I will just have to echo and say ‘yes’ to all of the above. Sneaky way to make a statement. Love the twist at the end. A real snappy thought provoker.



    Liked by 1 person

  8. James says:

    America and the western nations are an enormous energy suck. It’s not that renewable “green” energy isn’t a good idea or that we shouldn’t be good stewards of the environment, It’s expecting our country to rely on such sources for most or even all of our power that doesn’t seem realistic, particularly to the level of wealth Granny seems to enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      I hear you. I’ve researched the topic extensively. What I notice in the doubts of folks about renewables is not nearly enough is generally known. Folks feel going all the way solar is impractical because the sun doesn’t always shine. Same for wind because the wind doesn’t always blow. Folks look at single solutions and dismiss any one idea that isn’t a complete solution. Looking at it that way, they’re right. But if we consider “layered solutions” where a mixture of solutions is employed we see something far more viable. Also consider that there’s far more than just “two” renewable solutions: there’s Hydro, Geo-thermal, and Wave (all of which operate 24/7). And there’s more ways than just windmills to get wind power as well. I also propose getting back to nuclear power with the new Thorium plants (almost no waste, cannot melt down, cannot be used to produce weapons). Add into this mix bio-fuels from algae and my fave: diesel produced from common trash and you can see there are many, many layers to producing a total solution. So yes, it really is viable to power the entire USA with green power. Thing is our power-grid is enormous, mind-boggling actually. Replacing it all will take a very long time. You can’t just shut down all fossil fuel plants one day. We have to replace it bit by bit with something just as reliable. Without being a civil engineer I’d estimate this will take 30-40 years. This is why I push to get going “now.” Waiting for the “absolutely perfect total simple solution that solves everything including the common cold” will never happen. Even fossil fuels can’t live up to that. I say get started with something that is a “good idea” now because it will take a while to replace our entire grid anyway.

      If you can’t guess, I’m rather passionate about this topic. 😉


    • List of X says:

      I’m sure that even in the near term, it would be feasible to rely on solar power to produce electricity during the day (which is when the demand is higher), and rely on fossil fuels like natural gas to pick up the slack at night or during cloudy days. Even existing power plants do not produce a fixed amount of power 24/7 – a power company increases or decreases the amount of electricity it generates at different power plants it runs, depending on the current needs of the grid, so it can probably incorporate solar arrays that would work for 6 hours a day on average without having to redo the entire power grid.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. List of X says:

    I’m pretty sure that anyone driving a Tesla or a BMW in rural West Virginia wouldn’t be able to keep up the front of poverty for long.

    Liked by 1 person

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