Outsourcing the Greenhouse

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Turner’s Falls, MA – Some townspeople in Turners Falls, this 19th-century mill village on the Connecticut River celebrated when workers began tearing down a shuttered coal-fired power plant this year.

First, they dismantled the towering boiler. In June, the smokestack that belched hundreds of thousands of tons of heat-trapping gases into the air came down. Last month, workers hauled away the five-story steel skeleton, leaving just a concrete silo as a reminder of this local icon of global warming.

But the demolition is hardly a victory in the battle against manmade climate change. Virtually every piece of the 2,600-ton plant is being shipped to Guatemala to be rebuilt, girder by girder, to power a textile mill that sells pants, shirts, and sportswear to the United States. It could last, and continue to pollute, for another 50 years.

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