This week, Judy Bonds — whose work and life Majora Carter describes movingly in her latest TEDTalk — died after a battle with cancer. Bonds founded Coal River Mountain Watch, which fought coal companies that were strip-mining her home county, and proposed a thrilling alternative: wind power. She won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2003 for her passionate work. Majora writes to the TED Blog:
Judy Bonds was as devoted to faith and nonviolence as she was to practical solutions to some of our biggest problems. Those characteristics were all the more admirable when one considers the deeply emotional toll she endured as her ancestral homeland was destroyed before her eyes in the last decades of her life. She succumbed to lung cancer, which many people in Mountain Top Removal (MTR) mining regions claim is caused by the noxious particulate matter in the air as a direct result of this grievous mining practice. I am honored to have known Judy Bonds, and I count her among my most treasured role models.