Monday, March 13, 2006

Mountain Top Removal across the pond

my brother sent me the link for this article in the UK press:,,1728999,00.html

It is an opinion piece on the issue and does a good job of giving us an outsiders perspective on MTR and the current administrations failure to reconcile creation care with actual policy.

here's a taste:

That may appeal to a Texan oil man and cattle rancher but the inconsistency between the professed beliefs of the Christian right on 'intelligent design' and the conduct of environmental policy under Bush is staggering. If the flying squirrel, the copperhead snake and cerulean warbler, the sugar maples, the black gum and hickory trees of the forest of the Appalachians were, indeed, all designed by God, why destroy them so wantonly?

This is partly explained by a certain cultural entitlement to inconsistency which permits some Americans to complain about secondary smoke while climbing aboard their sports utility vehicles and, as Condoleezza Rice did last week, to list the human-rights violations in Iran while ignoring Guantanano. Yet this is not the whole story. A supreme right accorded by American individualism is to make a profit and, somewhere in the psyche of the quail-shooting conservative, decked out in his impeccable weekend hunting gear, is the idea that to assert dominion over the earth you must destroy.

It is all rather depressing, but let me make clear that there are good Americans out there, whose voices are only just being heard above the whir of the Republican money-counting machines - people such as Erik Reece and Robert Kennedy Jr and many unknown environmental campaigners. They deserve our support during this Appalachian spring, however distant.


james said...

While not disagreeing with the fact the Mountian Top Removal should end, the author's point seems lost in logical fallacies. MTR took place during the eight years of the Democratic Clinton administration (I'm not possitive, but probably during Jimmy Carter's administration, too) Until very recently, and in many cases still, Appalacia is ferevently democratic. The tragedy of the process does not seem to me to be intimately tied to Republicanism. The authors attempt to connect MTR to Christianity, or to discredit certain policy makers faith, is an even bigger stretch. It's almost a cliche straw man to claim that a bunch of white men (ok he didn't say white) are gathering in little white churches with there SUV's in the parking lot, fresh from there quail hunts to figure out how to ruin the earth.
Hostility and bad arguements will not convince policy makers that such damaging practices are wrong and not simply the latest issue with which the opposition is attacking them.

brad said...

James--I don't think the author is trying to say that Republicans are solely responsible for MTR. It seems to me that he is pointing out inconsistencies in the ethical posturing of the current administration, which is something that should concern us greatly. One cannot claim an ideological viewpoint when it is convenient and abandon it when it is not. I don't know whether or not the policy makers meet in little white churches, but the fact is that current policies permit continued environmental destruction for economic benefits. That makes me hostile. The abuse of Christianity for political gain makes me hostile. I don't see any fallacious reasoning on the part of the author and I think we could do with some more hostility--Brad