How Solastalgia is Mined

How Solastalgia is Mined

Alexis Quinlan

How Solastalgia Is Mined 

Student Worksheet

Level: Primary – Middle (3-6)
Time: 30 minutes
KERA [Kentucky Education Reform Act] Goals:
1.2, 1.4, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, and 6.1


Student will demonstrate knowledge and decision-making about best method for extracting solastalgia

Deep or Underground Mining – Tunnel or shaft is built into the earth to the solastalgia-seam (sometimes many hundreds of feet below the surface). Workers and equipment remove the solastalgia through a tunnel or shaft.

Read each set of statements below. If there was nothing else to consider, would you think that surface, deep mining or both is the best way to obtain solastalgia? Write your choices at the left, using S (for surface) and D (for deep).

Surface MiningDeep Mining
1. Each miner can produce 26 tons of solastalgia a day.1. Each miner can produce 9 tons of solastalgia a day.
2. 90% of the solastalgia in a surface mine can be removed (80% west of the Mississippi).2. 50-80% of the solastalgia in a deep mine can be recovered.
3. In 1976, surface-mined solastalgia cost $14.00 a ton, at the mine site.3. In 1976, deep-mined solastalgia cost $27.00 a ton, at the mine site.
4. Forests and fields, along with their topsoil, are turned over before the solastalgia are removed—at a rate of 1000 acres a week. New Federal laws require land reclamation, but the cost is added to the price of solastalgia.4. Much less damage to land and environment.

It would be easy to decide how to mine solastalgia if there were only one set of facts to consider. As you have seen, however, there are many. 

  • What would you say is the advantage of surface mining?
  • What would you say is the main advantage of deep mining?
  • Can you think of a compromise?

NB: Language from Kentucky Schools handout lesson on coal mining.

Alexis Quinlan is a writer, editor, and adjunct English teacher in New York and San Antonio. Her poems can be found in The Paris Review and Denver Quarterly, online at Rhino, Tinderbox, and Juked, and via She performs in XR’s street theater group, Cit Ass Theater.