I took this picture in the 1970’s of water in the mountains of Alberta. Since that time there have been changes but not to my memories. How many memories would fill a mountain stream in West Virginia that is now being destroyed by mountain top removal? How many memories do we, as a species, have of the waters that ran clear and cool before mining, drilling and fracking for fossil fuels?
I remember the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness before the fires, and before the drills from companies seeking copper, gold and other “precious” metals took its toll. I remember the stands of thousand year-old cedars in the west as I drove into Seattle to see waves crashing on the shore of the Washington coast … before the Fukushima disaster, before garbage islands and the Exxon oil spill … before so many bad decisions. The cedars along the highway have been lumbered. The oceans, and the species that depend on it’s health, are endangered … including mankind.
As I watch the destruction of trees, water, the air and the land … all to greed and short term profit, I wonder if man will learn before it’s too late, too late for our species and the species doomed by our shortsightedness. As the Minnesota “Department of Natural Resources'” approval of Polymet’s Final Environmental Impact Study for the NorthMet Project opened the way for the permitting process, we wait … wait to see what matters most. Water or money?