On December 19, 2008 Tim DeChristopher, a 27 year old graduate in economics from the University of Utah, became infamously known as “Bidder 70”. Right after his last final exam DeChristopher went to downtown Salt Lake City with plans to protest against the bidding of 77 pieces of land that were going to be mined and excavated for oil. When he arrived, he instead partook in the bidding and claimed 22,500 acres of land worth approximately $1.8 million dollars, with no intent of actually paying for the land. He intentionally tried to interrupt a government auction. As a result for his actions he was charged with two major felonies: violating on federal on shore oil and Gas leasing reform act and making false statements. What motivates DeChristopher to do these crimes? In the article, “The trails of Bidder 70” ,Abe Streep writes, that DeChristopher’s goal was to “end mountain-top removal coal mining in his native West Virginia”. DeChristopher claims that he wanted to protect nature and fight against pollution in the environment that causes global warming. Is he truly an environmental “savior”, or is there underlying motive for these actions. I am going to go into DeChristopher’s life to try to psychologically find out what truly motivates him to not surrender and become the “martyr for nature”.
Could it be that DeChristopher really did just have a pure love for nature and the land around him? After dropping out of Arizona State University DeChristopher got odd jobs as an outdoor guide in Missouri and later on as a guidance counselor for troubled teens in Uhta. While he was working these jobs, he lived in the wilderness in a cabin or under tarp. During these times, DeChristopher could have sought comfort with his surroundings hence, learning to love nature around him. That land where he lived, worked and grew to love is the same land that was being sold. Perhaps DeChristopher had a deep emotional...
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