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Inside the Greenhouse


The True Cost of CoalThe True Cost of Coal: Presentation from the Beehive Design Collective

In December 2012, ICE CaPs invited the Beehive Design Collective and Josh Rollins, a graduate student in the Theatre and Dance department, to the University of Colorado-Boulder to speak about the connections between coal mining in Appalachia and the Rockies, the effects of mountaintop removal (MTR) mining, other forms of energy extraction, climate change, and biodiversity in these areas.

The Beehive Design Collective presented their epic graphic campaign, The True Cost of Coal, which depicts the history of coal mining in Appalachia. Rollins grew up in West Virginia in communities that experience the direct impacts of coal mining, and in particular MTR, a technique which uses large amounts of explosives to blow the tops off of mountains to quickly and efficiently get at the coal inside.

ICE CaPs also sought to show how knowledge production can come in the form of oral traditions, photography, visual graphics, structural designs, and performances. These mediums have the ability to convey knowledge that is not formal, not necessarily linearly structured, maybe not even tied to traditional narrative structures, but they can enhance and enrich our understanding of our relationship with the environment in very different and perhaps unexpected ways.