This year, a 3-year-old girl will be crowned “Coal Princess” in West Virginia. Seriously.

The tragedy and poignancy of mediating our lifeworld is nowhere better expressed than in the annual crowning of the ‘Coal Princess”, complete with black rhinestones


I don’t know about you, but when I think about deforesting a lush mountaintop, blasting the mountain to nothing,grinding the very stones to pulp, and separating out the remains into coal and black slurry, I think beauty. And apparently I’m not the only one. In a world where beauty pageants are going the way of the dodo, coal-themed beauty contests are still holding on.

Emily Atkin tells the story for ThinkProgress:

The decline of the U.S. coal industry has been a hot topic lately, especially with the recent unveiling of President Obama’s plan to reduce carbon emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired plants. Conservatives and industry players have called the regulations an attempt to “carpet bomb” and “destroy” the industry — part of a “war on coal” that will cause debilitating job loss throughout the country.

But people like [Maxine] Cole-Tinnel…

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Author: Makere

A Maori/Scots New Zealander transplanted to Canada. Grandmother, academic, indigenous scholar, sometime singer, sometime activist, who cares passionately about our world.