Robert F. Kennedy Jr. flew over the West Virginia coalfields this week to get a better view of mountaintop removal mines.
Kennedy lunched with West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney, and listened to coalfield residents during a staged town meeting at a Raleigh County church.
The three-day tour was all part of Kennedy's effort to get a wider audience to hear his message about the "Crimes Against Nature" - the title of his 2004 book - that he says companies commit and governments ignore.
Filmmaker Angus Yates and writer Clara Bingham are turning Kennedy's book into a movie, a move that has drawn comparisons to the Oscar-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," about Al Gore's famous global warming slide show.
And as it did in the book, mountaintop removal in West Virginia is expected to be among Kennedy's examples of environmental outrages. Parts of the film, for example, will focus on the battle over a huge coal processing plant and waste impoundment near Marsh Fork Elementary School near Sundial.
"It's more than a sound bite," Kennedy said during an interview Wednesday in Charleston. "It's the destruction of a resource."
Kennedy had seen mountaintop removal from the air before. After a May 2002 flight, he recounted the view in his book as "a sight that would sicken most Americans."
After this week's flyover, Kennedy said the damage had only gotten worse.
"Even if they stop today, they've done so much damage," Kennedy said, his voice trailing off. "This is the worst stuff I've seen anywhere."