Permanent pollution for temporary jobs

in Opinion by

The PolyMet sulfide mine in Northeast Minnesota is a great example of how Americans support the pillaging of the Earth. Like the Keystone pipeline, many Americans just assume we would reap only benefits from this resource extraction.

But as usual, most Americans don’t like the facts. Like the Keystone, this mine would provide minimal jobs after construction and would leave permanent waste behind. According to miningtruth.org, PolyMet has never operated a mine and is supported by a Swiss company called Glencore.

If the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) giving this project its lowest ranking in February of 2010 possible doesn’t give you alarm, the fact that the man who was in charge of the Deep Water Horizon is Chairman of the Board for Glencore just might. If this mine being managed by the same person who was in charge of the largest oil spill ever in the Gulf doesn’t worry you, I don’t know what will. But I will try.

This type of mine has never been attempted in Minnesota and the states that have had these mines often have their water polluted by them. Another way Americans are misguided in their rabid support for resource extraction is that the country or state economy would benefit from these projects.

Like the Keystone pipeline, the resources extracted will be sold on the global market. So we can take that supposed benefit off of the table. So what we have here is a foreign company digging a hole in Northeast Minnesota, taking the profits from that hole overseas and leaving the locals to deal with the pollution (as many sulfide mining companies are notorious for not repairing damage they have done). 

I could go on and on about all the ways this mine would devastate the local area but I would rather you do your own research. Too often in this country people speak loudly from their soap boxes but rarely use facts in their argument. We see this on just about every issue, especially when talking about guns and environmental issues. We need sensible and logical conversations on these issues.

People may call me a tree hugger, as if that is a bad thing, but I believe the life of the planet and the life of humans are equally important. As the health of the planet declines, so will the health of humanity. This country needs informed citizens to thrive. We allow the government to know more about us than we even know about ourselves. As long as everything is ok in their neck of the woods, Americans like to ignore the actual problems.

As U.S. citizens slaughter each other every day and our planet becomes an oven, my fellow humans argue with one another rather than getting to work to make this a better world. Maybe when we are living in a wasteland of pollution, heavily armed civilians and concrete, people will wake up. I can’t deny that I don’t have high hopes for people to wake up anytime soon.