11 January 2010

Got those Appalachian blues

The following post from Daily Kos asks a poignant rhetorical question with a reply that is all too familiar:

[Excerpt] Suppose someone wanted to build a waste dump in New England that would blanket an area twice the size of Rhode Island, ruining it for the next 10,000 years. Would you approve? How about allowing a factory that would destroy the Mississippi River from above St. Louis all the way to New Orleans. Would you sign off on that permit? Well, maybe we could take up the monument next to the the USS Arizona and sell off the wreck for scrap. Would that get your okay? The answer to any of these proposals shouldn't just be no, it should be outrage. But we do allow it, have been allowing it for years, and continue to allow it despite promises to the contrary -- so long as it's in the Appalachians. In the Appalachians it's fine to bury thousands of miles of streams and rivers under waste and pollute the remainder of the waterways for both people and wildlife. In the Appalachians it's okay to erase the richest hardwood forest ecology anywhere on the planet for all time, to lay waste to communities, to tear down mountains that have stood longer than there has been life on land.

In the Appalachians, it's okay to take the most sacred site in the history of American labor, the battlefield where union miners fought not just against mercenaries sent in to eradicate them and their families but against bombers sent by their own government, and to delist that site from the Park Service register of national historical sites. Why would anyone allow the Park Service to delist a battlefield where over 100 men died and nearly 1000 of those who lived were tried for "treason against a state?" We do it for the same reason we tear down the mountains, for the same reason we eradicate the forest, for the same reason we destroy the communities, for the same reason we fill in the streams. We do it for the money.

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