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Waste Liquid At Brown Coal Mine

Niederzier, Germany

On this spot stood an ancient forest, untouched even by agriculture. Hambach Forest is nearly 12,000 years old, and comprised primarily of oak and hornbeam. It is home to 13 of the threatened species listed in Europe’s 1992 Habitats Directive.

In 1978, when it was bought by a power company to dig for the brown coal buried deep below, the forest covered 5.500 hectares (about the size of Manhattan). Now, only 10 percent of that remains. In its place is the largest man-made hole in Europe, from which is torn an average of 49.6 million tons of brown coal each year. It is a tragedy, but by the time this exhibition opens those last 10% of this ancient German forest will probably be history.

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