03/21/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Margaret Palmer On The Colbert Report (VIDEO)

"If diamonds are a girl's best friend, then coal is its hotter, younger sister," Stephen Colbert quipped.

And he's kind of right -- coal is getting a lot of play these days, and the coal mining industry is going to dramatic lengths to get it, by blowing the tops off mountains.

But coal mining and blowing up mountaintops don't have to go hand in hand, according to Margaret Palmer, a professor of biology at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Studies. Palmer appeared on The Colbert Report to discuss the environmental and health consequences of mountaintop removal, and why going a more traditional route would not only help the environment, but increase employment.

Seems like a double win, but Colbert brings up a serious concern: "If we didn't blow up these mountains, don't you think those mountains would just as easily blow us up? Have you heard of Vesuvius?"


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