How quickly nature falls into revolt when gold becomes her object!

Alaska has voted for gold instead of salmon. The Pebble Mine will be located right on the headwaters of one of the last great wild sockeye salmon runs. The salmon would have run for thousands of years, bringing at least $300 million to Alaska’s economy each and every year, but Alaska has traded them for 40 years of enriching foreign investors. Alaska seems to be hell-bent on becoming Nauru writ large.

The most painful and ridiculous part of the NY Times article was this quote:

“Perhaps it was God who put these two great resources right next to each other,” said John T. Shively, the chief executive of a foreign consortium that wants to mine the copper and gold deposit. “Just to see what people would do with them.”

I expect that God would weep. (I’m not a Christian, but I can Google like one!) From Christian Ecology:

Lev. 25:23-24. The land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land.

Ezekiel 34:17-18. As for you, my flock… Is it not enough for you to feed on good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet?

Luke 16:2,10,13. And He called him and said to him, “What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward. He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous in much. You cannot serve both God and mammon.

Title quote from Shakespeare’s Henry the Fourth.

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4 Responses to How quickly nature falls into revolt when gold becomes her object!

  1. Kirsten says:

    On one hand: UGH NOOOO!!!!!!
    On the other hand: the vote was about general water standards for any new mine, and was not a direct approval of the Pebble Mine. They still need to get permits, and most residents are against that, so it may not happen.

    This was a constant source of TV ads while we were living in Anchorage last year, and despite this vote, I’d be surprised if Pebble got its permits any time soon. Most residents are opposed to the mine. OTOH, I don’t actually know whether the permits will depend on a popular vote.

    In particular, the Native Alaskans are largely against it, since the land/water downstream is vital for subsistence living as well as commercial fishing — but apparently the proposed site is state land, not Native Corporation land, so they may not have much of a say. Even though a large part of their food source is going to be poisoned with fun chemicals. Sure, the local residents will have new job opportunities, but I’m guessing the cost of having all their food flown in would offset the wage gains. In the end, I know they’ll mine the area eventually, because who’s really going to leave that much gold in the ground forever? But I hope it will wait at least until the technology and/or process get better for the land and residents.

  2. Kirsten says:

    Pardon the length and repetition in that post. I just got back from Europe and jet lag unnnnhhhh.

  3. Kirsten – Thanks for the inside info. I didn’t realize that Pebble Mine still needed its own permits. Blarg for voting for mining over clean water, but maybe there is still hope…

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