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Geography Paper #3

Geography Paper #3 - Conservation Thought GEOG 3422 Fall...

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Conservation Thought: GEOG 3422, Fall 2007 Elizabeth Pike and Joni Palmer December 5, 2007 Exercise #3 Mountaintop Removal: Utilitarianism “Concentrated Wealth attributes the prosperity and progress of the United States to what it calls free enterprise. To it free enterprise means freedom to take, keep, and control all the resources, services, and opportunities it can, and charge for them the last possible cent,” (Pinchot 257). Mountaintop removal a newly developed technology of surface mining is destroying West Virginia’s economy and ecosystem. The large corporations and government that back this new form of natural resource extraction seek concentrated wealth and a maximum profit. As the government and corporations gain and use power in the Appalachian region of West Virginia to make a profit; the local people, exploited coal workers, and countless environmentalists disagree with the practice of coal mining. Many people agree that our country can’t survive and hold its current lifestyle status without the extraction and manufacturing of natural resources such as coal, but do they know the consequences that take place? If people were educated about the practices that corporations use on the environment they may find themselves leaning towards a conservation philosophy rather than utilitarianism. The main utilitarian actor behind the destruction of the Appalachian Mountains and its ecosystem in West Virginia is the Massey Energy Company. The Massey Energy Company is the fourth largest coal producer in the United States. The man behind the company’s production of 40 million tons of coal annually is CEO and President Don Blankenship. This corporation has strong personal political ties and uses them to advocate Mountaintop removal. Gifford Pinchot a progressive conservationist of the 1900’s would find some compatibility with the Massey Energy Company. Pinchot a man that holds utilitarian and anthropocentric values would agree with the
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Massey Energy Company’s use of nature as a benefit to humans. Coal, the number one
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