Soon, the Earth Really Will Be Flat

Mountaintop Removal Mining in Appalachia and China’s Massive Flattening Projects

Lanzhou Mountain FlatteningFirst there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is…what?


China is in the process of flattening 700 mountains in order to build a brand new mega city in the desert region of Lanzhou. The objective of the project is not to level out the top of the mountains but rather to reduce them to non-mountains, otherwise known as prairies or steppes.

This massive earth-wrecking and involuntary social engineering project is the first in a series that will eventually move 400 million people from rural areas into the cities. Or, another way of looking at it: taking a population equal to 30% greater than the US population and relocating them against their will from their ancestral homes to new turnkey paradises in places where hardly anyone lived before. This one has some additional challenges, such as the fact that the area has no water left, and Lanzhou is in the running for the most polluted city in China.

That is a contest not for the faint hearted.

Seven hundred is roughly the same number of mountaintops already destroyed in Appalachian Mountaintop Removal Mining over the past couple of decades, but the Chinese are getting it done in just a few years. As is the case in with MTR, the debris that used to be the top of the mountain is dumped into the former valley, burying streams and creating a whole laundry list of air, water and soil pollution. And as has been the case with other massive Chinese terraforming programs (such as Three Gorges Dam), these projects will also bring about other unintended consequences, including mudslides and flooding.

Lanzhou Mountain Flattening
The Chinese are not limited their plundering to their own country. This 13,000+ peak in Peru is full of copper, and that means it will soon be prairie.


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