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Combating Mountaintop RemovalNew Directions in the Fight against Big Coal$
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Bryan T. McNeil

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036439

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036439.001.0001

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Commons Environmentalism and Community Activism

Commons Environmentalism and Community Activism

(p.138) 8. Commons Environmentalism and Community Activism
Combating Mountaintop Removal

Bryan T. McNeil

University of Illinois Press

This chapter studies how a commons approach to environment and community sets the mountaintop removal movement apart from other environmental and activist positions. The commons approach includes humans as active participants in the environment. In contrast, the narratives that have greatly influenced modern discourses of environment—industrial progress and wilderness protection—both exclude humans from the environment. A commons perspective allows activists to create a more comprehensive discourse in which environment and economy are not opposed, but are necessary and complimentary components of any community. The discussion of the commons is heavily indebted to Mary Hufford, who has written extensively on the commons, based on years of very public ethnography in the Coal River region.

Keywords:   mountaintop removal, commons approach, activism, human participants, industrial progress, wilderness protection, Mary Hufford, Coal River

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