Thursday, October 27, 2011

"The environmentalists in the United States are damaging the world's environment."

I didn't say that, but Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy (you remember Massey, right? Inez, Kentucky?...yes, that Massey) said that loud and clear. Just watch the video below.

The smugness with which Blankenship speaks about his work, his role, the role of his company, in "providing jobs and "opportunities to improve the environment elsewhere" is frightening, and should be a wake-up call for anyone that is remotely concerned about the air we all breath, the water we all drink. The ill effects of mountaintop removal have been known for decades. Wendell Berry wrote about the tyranny of surface mining in the 1960s in The Long-Legged House.

Of course, it isn't only Blankenship that speaks with such arrogance. Most everyone that sits atop the pecking order in this aristocratic culture (with monetary benefits for a few, emotional, psychological, ecological costs for the rest) portrays the same smugness. We've seen it with criticisms of the Occupy movement. Of course, these criticisms need not be verbalised like Blankenship does--they can also be symbolic, such as by rewarding executives with fat bonuses even when dangerous risks are taken with public monies.

There is a sense of altruism that these elite people project, that the jobs that they provide now are of more benefit than the supposedly "small" environmental costs of their industries, that they can do all they want to the environment, and "reclaim" it and "re-vegetate" it. To say that environmentalists are, on the contrary, complicit in damaging the environment is indicative of a psychopathic or sociopathic mind, of that I am certain. Blankenship talks about "all that we've done over the past forty years" to remove toxic emissions from coal. Well, I doubt that he, or anyone of his ilk has done anything. Rather, it is the environmental movement that was galvanised from the Cuyahoga River catching on fire that resulted in laws such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

((Sorry for the rant. But there is something more meaningful that I am trying to formulate for this blog. It's just taking a while to wrap my mind around it.))

No comments:

Post a Comment