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The Forum > Article Comments > Why are we so opposed to mining in the Antarctic? > Comments

Why are we so opposed to mining in the Antarctic? : Comments

By Roger Chao, published 30/11/2011

Objections to mining in the Antarctic rest on aesthetics rather than risks of real harm.

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The Antarctic wilderness is only of value because we give it value like any other piece of art. It has no value beyond the value we give it.

Shakespeare is only of value because we give it value like any other piece of art. It has no value beyond the value we give it.

Diamonds are only of value because we give it value like any other piece of art. It has no value beyond the value we give it.

Music is only of value because we give it value like any other piece of art. It has no value beyond the value we give it.

See what Iím doing here, Iím not sure what the point the author was trying to make.
Some of mans greatness achievements are purely aesthetic, so the ban on mining in Antarcticia is defendable just on that all. The act of leaving it alone is a great thing not a folly.
Posted by Kenny, Wednesday, 30 November 2011 12:23:57 PM
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Kenny makes some good points.

Nothing has intrinsic value Ė even air and water are valuable only because they are valued by us (though for good reason!). The authorís presumption that suffering or loss of animals represents a greater harm than loss of pristine wilderness is simply the assertion that his own values should trump other peopleís. That aesthetic values should be subordinate to biological values is an arguable position, but not axiomatic.

And even ignoring the aesthetics of the central Antarctic, mining the region will require bringing construction crews, machinery, equipment etc in to build the project and then infrastructure such as ports located on the coast to import its inputs and export its product. This will affect the coastal regions and Antarctic ocean, which have considerable biological value.

Personally I think a case could be made for mining the Antarctic, but it will need to be better argued than this.
Posted by Rhian, Wednesday, 30 November 2011 4:07:16 PM
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