Lost Mountain' and Look at What the Essay
- Length: 12 pages
- Subject: Geography
- Type: Essay
- Paper: #13162945
Excerpt from Essay :
Lost Mountain' and look at what the writer say about coal mining and its overall effects to the overall environment and the entire human race. It will first analyze the problem at hand both from the political side and other actors involved in the coal mining on mountain tops. In addition to that the study will go ahead to see the varying criticism and proponents views on the issue and particularly on what the author of the book takes on the issue. According to Reece, the author of the book, the problem of coal miming on mountaintops has a political twist which makes it difficult to solve or work on its solution.
Lost mountain is a book by Reece Erik that has been eloquently been written and quite moving with the main agenda concentrating on the issue of cold mining at the mountain tops. Reece is mainly against the practice in his book and compares the now landscape to the earlier paradise that he knew earlier. This is no a tale of environmental degradation, it is shows how the blasting, coal washing and valley filling create deep human suffering, raising issue of decency, fairness and justice.
1. Varying Capacities of strategic actors to maneuver
This form of mining has thus gained so much controversy due to the profound changes it brings to the topography not forgetting the disturbances of ore-existing eco-systems as a result of the mountain mining. Of course there are those who are for the practice but a majority of people are against the practice especially to the harm it causes to the environment, wildlife and the health concerns it poses to the human race.
The proponents of the practice say that traditional methods of mining that are less harmful and where coal is provides half of the countries electricity production. They say hat mountain top removal provides jobs for some of the poorest individuals and that the hills are always rebuild or create areas where new highways, shopping centers, goal grounds, or airports etc. can always be rebuilt.
The proponents of the practice advocates for mountain removal pointing out that once the areas are reclaimed as mandated by law; the technique provides premium flat land suitable for many uses in a region where flat land is at a premium. They also maintain that the new growth on reclaimed mountaintop mined areas is better able to support populations of game animals.
Critics on the other hand come sharply against the practice and contend that mountaintop removal is such a disastrous practice with a small section especially corporations benefiting at the expense of the local communities and the environment. AU.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) environmental impact statement finds that streams near valley fills sometimes may contain higher levels of minerals in the water and decreased aquatic biodiversity.
The effects of the mountain coal mining are disastrous with the blasting at a mountaintop removal mine expelling dust and fly-rock into the air; this causes harm when it settles onto private property nearby. This dust may contain sulphur compounds, which some claim corrodes structures and tombstones and is a health hazards.
Although the MTR surfaces are required to be reclaimed after mining is complete, reclamation has traditionally focused on stabilizing rock ad controlling erosion, but not always on reforesting the area. Growing of vegetation and grasses, planted to quickly provide vegetation on a site, complete with tree seedlings, and trees have difficulty stabling root systems in compared backfill.
As a matter of fact, the issue has been taken by The United Mine Workers of America which has spoken against the use of human sewage sludge to reclaim surface mining sites in Appalachia. The UMWA launched its campaign against the use of sludge on mine sites in 1999 after eight UMWA workers became ill from exposure to Class B sludge spread near their work place. There is also the likelihood of the boulders pushing off to the nearby homes and causing accidents.
The other are health concerns posed by the author of 'Lost Mountain' and according to a 2010 report in the journal Science, mountaintop has caused many environmental and ecological problems which have not been addressed successfully. For instance, valleys fill frequently bury headwater streams causing permanent loss of ecosystems. As a result this has resulted into the destruction of rivers in the process which supports numerous wildlife and animals.
In addition, the destruction of large tracts of deciduous forests has threatened several endangered species and led to a loss of a biodiversity. Aside from that the health of the human beings living especially in the vicinity of the mining are facing health alarms with some suffering from various diseases such as cancer.
The political class has been accused for breaking the labor laws, healthy and safety laws and by their own records they have had some 67,000 violations of just of the environmental statues. It seems that the coal industry has an overwhelming political influence at the state and federal level. 'It is not just about environmental destruction; it's also about subverting democracy.'
2. Problem definition/Framing and political decision making
Reece the author of the book points out that the introduction of the this coal mining known as - 'radical strip mining' aka 'mountaintop removal' involves a team in which they employ no more than ten men and some heavy machinery literally blast off the top of a mountain, dump it in the valley below, and scoop out the coal. It is the resultant effects that arise from doing this that Reece in the book 'The Lost Mountain' is heavily critical about. In this compelling book, he mainly criticizes the political class who over look the disastrous effects of coal mining at the expense of what the state expects to get from the mining.
Reece's melancholic book- is much more than just an eyewitness report on ecological decimation- but it goes further to offer a concise history of the long history of workers exploitation. According to Reese there have been hints of harrowing tales of industry intimidation of ant mining activists; they have also been details of how toxic mining runoff has poisoned well water and how landslides have washed away homes and entire hamlets; and in a cautiously optimistic coda, reports how activists have reclaimed a few thousand acres of stripped land with reforestation projects. Despite this little has been done to arrest the situation and bring an end to the effects because players in the industry are concentrating on the benefits of coal.
The book shows the existence of an industrial greed, devious corporate ownership and unenforced environmental laws. The book also gives an account of how rural residents and how their lives are being ruined by strip-mining relentless, almost unfettered, encroachment.
Reece dissects unholy alliances between politicians and the coal industry. He considers the effects of voracious globalism and suggests alternatives to coal-based Kentucky economy. He advocates that other kinds of Kentucky-based industry (like furniture making) be encouraged.
He underscores the urgency of sustainable forest management. And he suggests that taxes reflect the true social and environmental costs of coal. Why? Because, as a woman who grew up in Harlan County puts it: 'We live downstream.'
3. Lasswell Definition of Politics
Lasswell defined politics is who gets what, when and how. Lasswell (2007) views the elite as the holders of power and thus there are the people who get the best in the society, at a particular time in a certain place. Given this definition, this basically means that the elites have been in position to manipulate things to be done for their own advantage and this is what is explained in the book' Lost Mountain'. Reese is seemingly confrontational to the political class who encourages the mining at their own advantage. They are the people who solely benefit from the practice while the poor locals suffer at the consequence of the mining, besides that they have managed to manipulate the state or the federal government for their own gain. They will do anything to achieve their ends. This is seen when some ant mining activists are killed for coming up against the practice.
4. Describe how this seemingly rational logical and intentional process is altered in Reece into a confrontational, non-rational, non-logical intentional process
Looking at the 'The Lost Mountain we see a story that is given a compelling, but non-rational and non-logical intentional of the political class concerning the issue of mountain mining. Reece points out categorically blaming the government in a confrontational, non-rational and non-logical manner for the effects that are being expressed in the mountain removal.
Reece sees the issue as being mired in corruption and class warfare with the elite benefiting from the coal mining at the expense of those rural folks living in the area. He talks about the political class with in a compelling prose peppered with hard facts. Various actors have differing views on the issue depending on what they stand to gain. The political class may…