Letter: The mines: effects of closure on the economy, the environment and individual lives

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The Independent Online
Sir: As an unemployed person I have much sympathy with the soon-to-be redundant miners. However, there are a number of points that the media seem loath to comment upon.

First, from the widely used statistics in the press it would appear that since nationalisation the annual loss of mining jobs has averaged over 10,000. While this year's figure will be higher, it does help to put it in perspective.

Second, let people not forget the tremendous damage done to this country and to Scandinavia by our coal-fired power stations' sulphur dioxide emissions. Britain has a moral duty, as well as an international legal obligation to reduce these awful emissions (remember the Green movement?).

Third, other old mining areas have lost the bulk of their mining industry yet continually make claims as to their well-being, quality of life, and so on: the ugly landscape-scarring mines (vis D. H. Lawrence) replaced by clean, attractive business parks - witness the adverts of the Welsh Development Agency.

I for one would rather work in a Japanese-owned TV factory or the financial services industry than down a coal mine. I am sure that many ex-miners' families also prefer the post-coal situation. Life must progress.

Yours faithfully,

H. E. HARRIS

London, N16

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