In the central Chinese province of Shanxi, decades of careless coal mining have so exhausted the earth that it can no longer hold the dozens of villages that sit above it. But being swallowed by the ground takes time, and it is a concern often eclipsed by more immiment dangers: earthquakes and landslides, or what Chinese officials call "geological incidents." Over the course of one year, there were 55 landslides in Helin village alone, and by the latest official count for the first seven months of 2014, there were 26,000 mine-triggered disasters. The Chinese government plans to relocate nearly half a million of the remaining residents to newly built settlements by the end of the year. This effort will cost over $2 billion, not to mention the $11.6 billion in environment-related economic losses that will have to be absorbed. That, perhaps, is the price of cheap coal.