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Famous Quotes on Coal Mining and Coal Miners

“Keeping house is as unpleasant and filthy as coal mining, and the pay’s a lot worse.” ~ P. J. O’Rourke

quotes on coal mining

Coal miners and coal mining have been integral to society throughout history.

And often, some of the world’s most famous people and minds have sounded off on miners and mining, delivering some memorable quotes on coal mining.

Famous Coal Mining Quotes

Coal Region Canary has compiled a comprehensive list of our favorite quotes about coal mining and coal miners.

  1. “Perhaps time’s definition of coal is the diamond.” ~ Khalil Gibran
  2. “Coal is a portable climate.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
  3. “A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.” ~ Henry Kissinger
  4. “To shipbrokers, coal was black gold.” ~ Roald Dahl
  5. “All creation is a mine, and every man a miner.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
  6. “Genius is the gold in the mine, talent is the miner who works and brings it out.” ~ Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington
  7. “One day work is hard, and another day it is easy; but if I had waited for inspiration I am afraid I should have done nothing. The miner does not sit at the top of the shaft waiting for the coal to come bubbling up to the surface. One must go deep down, and work out every vein carefully.” ~ Sir Arthur Sullivan
  8. “Coal miners don’t get coal miners’ block.” ~ John Green
  9. “We are putting our miners back to work.” ~ Donald Trump
  10. “I would much prefer to be a judge than a coal miner because of the absence of falling coal.” ~ Peter Cook
  11. “My dad played for a coal-mining team in eastern Ohio; he was a very good pitcher. If he hadn’t hurt his arm, he probably would have got a shot somewhere. He hurt his arm one spring, didn’t warm up good enough, couldn’t throw a fastball anymore. Another coal miner taught him how to throw the knuckleball.” ~ Phil Niekro
  12. “We accept it as normal that people who have never been on the land, who have no history or connection to the country, may legally secure the right to come in and, by the very nature of their enterprises, leave in their wake a cultural and physical landscape utterly transformed and desecrated. What’s more, in granting such mining concessions, often initially for trivial sums to speculators from distant cities, companies cobbled together with less history than my dog, the government places no cultural or market value on the land itself.” ~ Wade Davis
  13. “Any relation to the land, the habit of tilling it, or mining it, or even hunting on it, generates the feeling of patriotism. He who keeps shop on it, or he who merely uses it as a support to his desk and ledger, or to his manufactory, values it less.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
  14. “It must not be thought that it is ever possible to reach the interior earth by any perseverance in mining: both because the exterior earth is too thick, in comparison with human strength; and especially because of the intermediate waters, which would gush forth with greater impetus, the deeper the place in which their veins were first opened; and which would drown all miners.” ~ Rene Descartes
  15. “Claiming that the destructive practice of mountaintop removal mining, blowing the tops off mountains to get at the coal beneath, performs the “necessary” function of creating flat land for development To tear treasure out of the bowels of the land was their desire, with no more moral purpose at the back of it than there is in burglars breaking into a safe.” ~ Joseph Conrad
  16. “There are now more than 4,000 places in the sea around the world that have some kind of protection. The bad news: You have to look hard to find them. What you find instead is destructive fishing, mining, gas and oil exploration.” ~ Sylvia Earle
  17. “There are a lot of regulations that are really just crushing jobs. Look at the coal miners in the Rust Belt that are getting out of work. Look at the – look at the loggers and the timber workers and the paper mills in the West Coast. Look at the ranchers or farmers in the Midwest with regulations.” ~ Paul Ryan
  18. “Little kids sing a song called “America the Beautiful.” They sing a song called “This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land.” To me, those songs are not just nice little ditties. They are marching orders. They are commandments that we must protect America’s beauty from the clear-cutters, the strip-miners, the oil spillers. They are pledges we have made. They are promises to keep.” ~ Van Jones
  19. “I’ve got the body of a model and the face of a coal miner.” ~ Jason Flemyng
  20. “The hardest thing I’ve had to overcome was being from my small coal-mining town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia. My mother was a coal miner for nineteen years, and the expectations of making it out of my town were slim to none.” ~ Thomas Jones
  21. “Our steelworkers and our miners are going back to work again!” ~ Donald Trump
  22. “Sadly, I wish I had been able to play [“Miner’s Prayer”] for [grandfather]. Yeah, I’ll never escape the influence of him in my life. And my – his wife, my grandmother, Earlene Tibbs – those experiences with them shaped me musically probably more profoundly than anything else in my life and shaped me as a writer.” ~ Dwight Yoakam
  23. “I didn’t even watch the soaps when I was in them because it’s like a coal miner coming home and staring at the coal scuttle – I was never a great lover of watching myself act.” ~ Ross Kemp
  24. “I don’t meet stockbrokers or carpenters or coal miners; I spend all day with actors, composers and photographers.” ~ Michael Caine
  25. “All in all I’d rather have been a judge than a miner. And what’s more, being a miner, as soon as you are too old and tired and sick and stupid to do the job properly, you have to go. Well, the very opposite applies with judges.” ~ Peter Cook
  26. “Hillary Clinton wants to put all the miners out of business.” ~ Donald Trump
  27. “Seeking those elusive individuals is like mining for rare gems. It will take hard work, patience, and a persistent attitude. To find that rich seam of colourful stones, you will have to chip through dirt and rock. You will have to learn how to hold rubble in your hands and see the fortune inside.” ~ Chris Murray
  28. “Art, of course, is a way of thinking, a way of mining reality.” ~ John Gardner
  29. “Then there was the whole concept of coal mining, which is a culture unto itself, the most dangerous occupation in the world, and which draws and develops a certain kind of man.” ~ Martin Cruz Smith
  30. “What strip mining is to nature the art market has become to culture.” ~ Robert Hughes
  31. “There are as many forms of memory as there are ways of perceiving, and every one of them is worth mining for inspiration.” ~ Twyla Tharp
  32. “All artists as a type seem to suffer a great deal, but then so do miners.” ~ Jim Harrison
  33. “Every time you warm yourself in front of a hot coal stove, remember the coal miners in the cold dark corridors and pray for them!” ~ Mehmet Murat Ildan
  34. “I think of doing a series as very hard work. But then I’ve talked to coal miners, and that’s really hard work.” ~ William Shatner
  35. “Life comes to the miners out of their deaths, and death out of their lives” ~ Mother Jones
  36. “All too often miners, and indeed other trade unionists, underestimate the economic strength they have.” ~ Arthur Scargill
  37. “Reason is the miner’s lamp used in bringing up ore from the mind.” ~ Austin O’Malley
  38. “Football is a game designed to keep coal miners off the streets.” ~ Jimmy Breslin
  39. “We could manage to survive without money changers and stockbrokers. We should find it harder to do without miners, steel workers and those who cultivate the land.” ~ Aneurin Bevan
  40. “I am often asked why men don’t get as worked up as they might about women – particularly poor women – having to use their bodies as prostitutes. Because most men unconsciously experience themselves as prostitutes every day – the miner, the firefighter, the construction worker, the logger, the soldier, the meatpacker – these men are prostitutes in the direct sense: they sacrifice their bodies for money and for their families.” ~ Warren Farrell
  41. “Everyone knows that we’re doing a science experiment with Earth. And the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4 contributors to it are the mining and burning of coal.” ~ Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
  42. “I look at it this way… For centuries now, man has done everything he can to destroy, defile, and interfere with nature: clear-cutting forests, strip-mining mountains, poisoning the atmosphere, over-fishing the oceans, polluting the rivers and lakes, destroying wetlands and aquifers… so when nature strikes back, and smacks him on the head and kicks him in the nuts, I enjoy that. I have absolutely no sympathy for human beings whatsoever. None. And no matter what kind of problem humans are facing, whether it’s natural or man-made, I always hope it gets worse.” ~ George Carlin
  43. “The economic transmission of power without wires is of all-surpassing importance to man. By its means he will gain complete mastery of the air, the sea and the desert. It will enable him to dispense with the necessity of mining, pumping, transporting and burning fuel, and so do away with innumerable causes of sinful waste.” ~ Nikola Tesla
  44. “Every individual, from the common mechanic, that works in wood or clay, to the prime minister that regulates with the dash of his pen the agriculture, the breeding of cattle, the mining, or the commerce of a nation, will perform his business the better, the better he understands the nature of things, and the more his understanding is enlightened.” ~ Jean-Baptiste Say
  45. “But Big Oil and Big Coal have always been as skilled at propaganda as they are at mining and drilling. Like the tobacco industry before them, their success depends on keeping Americans stupid.” ~ Jeff Goodell
  46. “The search which takes place in my studio might best be described as a mining operation, a vertical dig in which a number of discoveries are apt to surface from a single shaft.” ~ Abe Ajay
  47. “Our goal in the ’70s was to end the closed door era. There were so many things that were off limits to women, policing, firefighting, mining, piloting planes. And the stereotypical view of people of a world divided between home and child caring women and men as breadwinners, men representing the family outside the home.” ~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  48. “Keeping house is as unpleasant and filthy as coal mining, and the pay’s a lot worse.” ~ P. J. O’Rourke

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