A few months back, Scholastic pulled their former textbook title The United States of Energy. The book claims to be a kids’ guide to energy; its publication is in fact sponsored by the not-at-all biased American Coal Foundation. Scholastic made the decision to pull the book after a New York Times article questioned its ghost-sponsor, pointing out that, among other things:
What [The United States of Energy] do[es] not mention are the negative effects of mining and burning coal: the removal of Appalachian mountaintops; the release of sulfur dioxide, mercury and arsenic; the toxic wastes; the mining accidents; the lung disease.
Scholastic, in case you’ve forgotten or are not up on the exciting world of young adult fiction, also publishes the Hunger Games series. If you are familiar with the books, you may recall that their main character, Katniss Everdeen, lives in the Seam, an area that was once Appalachia and which is still used for mining coal, only by Katniss’s time the miners have to dig so deep that the chances of losing any of them in an accident are astronomical and going to work in the mines is, basically, a death sentence with burial pre-included.
Oh, and that at the ripe old age of eleven years, Katniss loses her father in a mining accident. And then has to learn to hunt dandelions and wild dogs in order to keep herself, her mother, and her little sister from starving to death.
*slow clap* Well done, Scholastic. Well done.