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Citizen Recap: 30 Days Working in a Coal Mine

Did you think I forgot to watch the season premiere of 30 Days, with all of Tuesday's Democratic nomination wrap up, and the accompanying speech mania? Well, don't worry, because even though this recap is a day late, I still caught the episode which had filmmaker Morgan Spurlock working under the earth's surface for 30 days as a West Virginian coal miner.

Morgan spent his 30 days living with 35-year veteran miner Dale Lusk and his wife Sandy. Every morning before Dale left for the mines at around 2:00 a.m. he wrote Sandy a love note, just in case a disaster prevented him from returning home that day. The episode helped explain what motivates miners like Dale to take such risks — and the biggest incentive seemed to be cash. Dale, who has no college degree, makes over $100,000 a year.

Morgan slowly became accustomed to the dark, and labor-intensive life of a miner. To find out more about his experience,


In fact, he soon appreciated the tranquility and novelty of working beneath the earth's surface. But, near crises shocked Morgan out of his false sense of security, as did the reality that many miners, and some he had built relationships with, face debilitating health conditions like black lung.

Coal mining makes up 50 percent of America's energy supply. This episode reminded me that when I work or play on my computer, with my television, or anything else that requires electricity, I am depending on the routine and dangerous efforts of a West Virginian Coal miner.

Did you catch the episode? Stay tuned next week for 30 Days in a Wheelchair . . .


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