I've been on several recent flights out of Charleston's Yeager Airport to various points south. Most of these depart early in the morning while it's still pretty dark, but on one return flight a few weeks ago I was able to get a good look at one of the largest Mountain Top Removal mine site I've seen. People who know tell me it's the Hobet mine near Danville. Here's what it looks like on Google Earth:
Now, here is the same view but with an outline added to define the extremities of the site:
While you can tell it's big, this view lacks any reference points from which you can draw a sense of scale. So let me take the outline off the picture, rotate it a little and plop it down on a picture shot in the same scale of something more recognizable to most of us.
That's the city of Charleston. This MTR sight covers an area that would stretch from the Yeager Bridge on the W.Va. Turnpike to the Patrick Street Bridge, and is wide enough to encompass the whole valley floor, the West Side Hill, and most of South Hills.
You can make up your own mind about how this makes you feel. Please post your comments.