Climate Ground Zero

Publication Type:

Web Article


Climate Ground Zero (2010)






Climate Ground Zero started out as a campaign against oil and tar sands in Montana and Canada. Upon requests by local activists working to end mountaintop removal coal mining, Climate Ground Zero moved to Rock Creek, West Virginia.

Coal River Mountain was the last mountain to remain untouched by mountaintop removal mining in the Coal River Valley. Climate Ground Zero’s direct action campaign took off when Coal River Mountain was clear-cut in preparation for mountaintop removal in February of 2009. Since then over 150 people have been arrested in various actions on Coal River Mountain and other mountaintop removal sites in West Virginia.

Climate Ground Zero is not an environmental organization; it is an ongoing campaign of non-violent civil resistance in southern West Virginia to end mountaintop removal. Here at Climate Ground Zero we believe that the irrevocable destruction of the mountains of Appalachia and its accompanying toll on the air, water, and lives of Appalachians necessitates continued and direct action.

In West Virginia, an overwhelming majority of residents are opposed to mountaintop removal mining. However, political interests are highly invested in the coal industry and the EPA and the West Virginia DEP refuse to take real action to protect the environment and the people of West Virginia.

In order to stop mountaintop removal, we need to awaken the country to the devastation that mountaintop removal inflicts on one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, Appalachia, and its people. Since Climate Ground Zero came to West Virginia in 2009, hundreds of activists have come to the coalfields and stood with the residents of West Virginia to demand an end to the destruction.

Climate Ground Zero is a project of the American Forest Alliance and works in cohesion with Mountain Justice, a regional network of organizations in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, that seek the abolition of mountaintop removal in Appalachia and throughout the country.

July 25, 2009