Hearings on Polymet’s Permit to Pollute …


How long will it take to say no to this bad idea? Facts and common sense warrant a no. EPA has determined that if Polymet’s copper sulfide mine were allowed, there are drawbacks that could never be made right through any means. So the question, as I see it, is: short term profit that will benefit the corporate bottom line or long term sustainable growth and a healthy environment that will benefit the base.

While Polymet’s proposed Northmet Project site would require perpetual maintenance into an unforseeable future (hundreds of years), profits will be finite for all concerned. Sounds, smells, pollution and the inevitable effects of copper-sulfide mining in this Minnesota wilderness will change the Arrowhead in our lifetimes, forever. The footprint for this project will far exceed the boundaries proposed because air and water know no bounds. The infrastructure to support it will spread its tentacles into the heart of the region through roadways, streams, aquifers, air and earth. Endangered species may be brought to extinction because of it. Minnesota’s multi-million dollar tourism industry will most assuredly be affected. What could be gained that would compensate for the losses?

Has the earth reached it’s carrying capacity?

Look around and what do we see?  We’ve heard it all before.  How many areas in this world are burning?  How many water bodies are contaminated?  Where is the air free of particulate matter that invades and destroys the cells of our lungs?  As the carrying capacity of this planet is ignored, our environments are being destroyed, our bodies poisoned.  The result in the end will be one that all of us will share.

We act not as stewards but as dominionists, those who believe that man rules over all other animals.  Mankind continues to subjugate others that he considers less than he, by the fact of skin color, religion, preference, sex, social status….  He disrespects the essence of what it means to be human, the diversity and creativity that springs from life.

As a so-called superior species, then, mankind stands at the top and issues edicts, with little regard to the “other”.  What he wants, he takes; the land, a tree, an animal or another human, destroying and polluting as he goes.  Has war and disease, then, become an undeniable part of this imbalance, an imbalance that man has created for the sake of greed? The laws of physics in nature, it seems, will have the last word as we reap what we’ve sown.

The structure of most societies appears built to sustain the worst forms of greed, while taxes support the weapons industry, one of the largest polluting bodies in the world and one of the most destructive.  Citizens get play by play descriptions of the losses suffered in war just as if it were a game; and as long as it doesn’t interfere with our daily lives, most of us just watch.  What can we do that doesn’t start at the center of our lives?  What change will happen without fundamental change at the heart?  Action not words; and this will take time.

We need changes that reach beyond a bandaid. As long as we continue to buy without understanding the source of our purchases, the seller will continue to sell what will bring in the money.  Once we understand and act on that understanding, our sacrifice will be less of what we want and more of what we need.