As we move forward into a new era where the prospect of fossil fuels has become a nemesis to our survival long range, there are major decisions… Read more “On pending Polymet copper mine and Enbridge oil pipeline #3 …”
Views are varied, understandable or not, superficial or deep, based on facts, prejudices, vantage points…. The gamut of opinion is wide. Within, these opinions can be thoughtful,… Read more “Truth and Opinion”
The Earth weeps in silent tears And torrents coursing through, Flowing into pools and streams Tumbling into blue, Through mountains blown and fields of black, In… Read more “Into Blue”
We could speak of the beauty, the wild, the spirit of something greater than ourselves, the sustenance we all gain from these masterpieces. Such is the Arrowhead… Read more “Arrowhead Aquifers and the Hill of Three Waters”
In order to “protect” our canopy of trees from the emerald ash borer, the city of Minneapolis tends to remove rather than treat. How long will it… Read more “How will the city of Minneapolis protect our canopy by cutting it down?”
Last winter, I lost a very dear friend to cancer. She was in her 98th year, of Norwegian ancestry, a Minnesotan by birth, a world traveler and… Read more “Portrait of a Friendship”
Enbridge lists benefits that will accrue from its replacement line 3 in Minnesota and it guarantees that the old line will be safely “deactivated.” What does this… Read more “What we should all know about Enbridge’s replacement line 3 in Minnesota.”
Risk Analysis of Probable Maximum Flood and Climate Change at the PolyMet Flotation Tailings Basin Prepared for Clean Water by Tom Myers, PhD, Hydrologic Consultant
The NorthMet project, in order to mine copper in the Arrowhead of Minnesota, will need many permits to address the pollution and the degradation of these premier… Read more “NorthMet Copper Mine Proposal and Permitting Links”
It was a few years ago that my good friend and I traveled to Bemidji State Park. It was here that we witnessed what was one of… Read more “Under the Maples”
Is our criminal and civil justice system standing true to the intent and meaning of the fifth amendment? Consider that it did not discriminate between citizen and… Read more “AMENDMENT V: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
Do we appreciate the beauty of the Arrowhead in this one-of-a-kind wilderness, enough to say no to copper sulfide mining? Will the DNR choose short term profit… Read more “Appreciation of beauty is a moral test. Will we pass when it comes to protecting the extreme headwaters of the St Lawrence Seaway and Hudson Bay in Minnesota?”
There is a wave of change occurring, not only in technology, but in the way we deal with our humanity. Cults are not new and all cults… Read more “When we take the time to know another, “the other” no longer stands outside of our sphere, and compassion becomes possible.”
The city of Minneapolis has a current population of 416,000 which is predicted to grow to 465,000 by 2040 and so created a draft policy plan called… Read more “Comments due on Minneapolis 2040 Draft Comprehensive Plan by July 22, 2018”
School Trust Lands in BWCA, over 83,000 acres of state-owned land, have been kept from earning money due to the fact that the land is protected as… Read more “Is there no better way to fund our schools?”
The Vietnam war was raging and boys were being drafted into a war that was, for the first time, coming into the living rooms of Americans via… Read more “With small steps we change”
The NorthMet Project has been in process of application for many years now, because the project will cause unusual problems, and because it will imperil wilderness lands,… Read more “Comment on NorthMet Draft Air Permit due March 16, 2018”
If we were to search the entire globe for a place that would result in more devastation to the natural world and to world class water systems,… Read more “What would be a particularly bad place for a highly toxic copper sulfide mine?”
What does it mean to “do business”? Do we plan for all outcomes to our best ability and consider the quality of air, water, the health of our planet, beforehand, as the bottom line and love the ultimate business of all?
In a world where success is measured by the size of a bank account, living becomes a battle between the richest and the rest, where profits determine long term outcomes in a destructive race to exploit our natural resources for short term gain. This current measure of success is a fool’s game in opposition to the health of this planet .
As harsh as it may seem, our leaders, in essence, are the face of our own choices. In a democracy, we can change the status quo in our own day to day business by making choices that are true to our better selves. When we support those enterprises that act on healthy instincts, instincts based on love, we increase the wealth for all. When the leaders of business choose based on love for the health and well-being of their own children, grandchildren, they will naturally choose to act in ways that will be more beneficial to all.
There are over 170 million pieces of debris in orbit around the Earth, with over 8,500 known items in low Earth orbit accounting for more than 5,500 tons in 2008. According to a 2011 report by the US National Research Council, the amount of debris had reached a critical level.
This, a present day conundrum, since the rush to launch various products into orbit has failed to address the necessity for eventual safe disposal, as we so utterly failed in the nuclear industry. Leaving the orbits around Earth with enough waste to look like the rings of Saturn, resultant waste endangers further launches and those of us on the ground with potential out-of-control collisions in orbit and an average of 200-400 hunks of metal waste falling to Earth every year.
Will robots, further technology, promised solutions be enough to remove the pollution in space, our air, on the ground, and in our waters before the progress we hold so dear destroys any chance of renewal? The solutions we seek require nothing less than a whole-hearted change in the way we do business and this means every one of us.
There will be changes no matter what we do now; but without the love that comes from a respect for the natural world, for the health of this planet and the well being of our progeny, those changes might not be what we want. Out of necessity, though, they will be what nature requires.
HR 3115 Roll Call votes 11/28/2017-7:07pm How are we to reconcile the pollution of our waters with clean energy requirements? Representative Nolan tells us that copper… Read more “Roll call on a vote to suspend rules and pass the Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act”
The watersheds of the Mississippi, the Rainy River and the Great Lakes have their source in northern Minnesota, particularly in the Laurentian highlands of the Arrowhead, a wilderness that knows few equals in this regard. Minnesota citizens, then, have a global responsibility to preserve this vital, rare and important aquifer from exploitation.
For over one hundred years, the state of Minnesota has condoned mining in the Laurentian Divide. For over one hundred years the Missississippi and the St Louis Rivers, the Great Lakes and the Rainy River watershed have suffered from our failure to see the significance of these waters. Elevated levels of lead and mercury … not including acid rain from the coal-fired plants supporting mining operations, smelters and other correlated equipment have done their part to interfere with vital natural processes. Have we learned from our past mistakes?
In spite of this over one-hundred year history of mining in Minnesota and the correlated air and water pollution, failed infrastructure and inadequate protections, the state continues to promote mining activity. Desperate measures to sustain an industry that will fail, that will pollute vital water reserves, where there can be no adequate protections in this water rich area, in an ecology that has no precedent on Earth, will serve no one in the long term.
Copper mining will destroy our water resources and our one of a kind wilderness in Northern Minnesota. I was disappointed to have read that you support the NorthMet Project.
Anita Suzanne Tillemans
Link to articles on arterutan concerning copper mining in the Arrowhead:
Superior National Forest’s land exchange with Polymet effectively trades wilderness mandated for protection into the hands of the copper mining industry, one of the most polluting industries known to man. The question comes up:
What price this northeastern Minnesota wilderness at the headwaters of the St Lawrence Seaway, the Great Lakes and at the heart of three of the greatest waterways in the North American continent?
The proponents of this bad deal will tell you that these wilderness lands are not “productive” and that this exchange will benefit the school children in the trade or some such …. that there will be hundreds of jobs, that the lands received by the NSFS in the swap are much more contiguous and will allow better management of forest resources, give greater access, more financial benefit and so on ….
Will any greater access, the amount of jobs from mining and “productivity” pay for the pollution of this valuable resource, our waters, for hundreds of years? Since one of the insidious products of copper sulfide mining is bio-available mercury, how will school children profit from this; and how does one” clean up” the damage?
I wonder. Is money and profitability the only statistic of prime importance on a balance sheet? If so, then what of clean water, clean air, the health of our plant and animal life, the mitochondria, the fungus and the insects and birds? Let’s consider the health of our children if not our own. What is the price of a child’s life, the price of wilderness? We are not only trading lands in this swap. It is much deeper and much more damning than this.
Money will not give us the things we need in the long haul … and our children will benefit far better from clean water. Wilderness is our filter, it is literally our blood and our bone, it is our base. Whatever benefits wilderness benefits us. Copper sulfide mining is not one of these.
Dear Commissioner Landwehr:
Re: NorthMet Dam Safety
I am writing to express my concerns about the recently released dam safety permits for the PolyMet Mine. There are insurmountable problems associated with these permits and the proposals made by Polymet, a company that has never operated a mine before and will not use the newest technology recommended by your agency’s contractors.
It is common knowledge that these earthen dams are unsafe and cannot, in all truth, be guaranteed to hold up over time, especially the hundreds of years that they will be expected to endure. They will eventually fail and release toxic sludge and pollution into the watershed below, a watershed without precedent, affecting communities and structures downstream to the Lake Superior basin and possibly into the Rainy River watershed.
The DNR is tasked to protect our resources for the benefit of Minnesotans. Does the DNR do this by permitting a private for-profit copper sulfide mine, the NorthMet project, to use a dam for its storage of toxic sludge and tailings that has weakened over the 40+ years of its life already, known to leak into the aquifer sending toxic waste downstream and into wetlands surrounding the area? What can be expected after 500 years?
Please say no to these dam safety permits and send an undeniable message to Minnesotans, who by the majority of comments do not want this toxic and hazardous project polluting our northern waters and ecosystem.
Anita Suzanne Dedman-Tillemans
October 12, 2017
Comment submitted October 12, 2017:
Like a beacon, under scrutiny for mining of copper resources, stands the Bristol Bay area. For thousands of years, supporting the long term health of communities, this area has been and continues to be a rich natural resource for fish and wildlife, including one of the richest salmon spawning grounds in the world. This proposal will remove the Proposed Determination of the US Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 Pursuant to Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act Pebble Deposit Area, Southwest Alaska (July 2014), which would have served to protect this watershed from exploitation and destructive practices; while the Pebble Limited Partnership, seeking private profit in a relatively short term, tells us that the area is depressed and people need jobs. This, they tell us, even though the jobs will be gone when the boom is over and the lands and waters fouled forever.
The associated earthen dam alone, which will be expected to hold toxic sludge and tailings byproducts from copper sulfide mining, into perpetuity, could not stand the test of time in this ecologically fragile area located in an earthquake zone. In addition, repercussions from an onslaught of torrential rains and weather conditions over time associated with a changing climate can be guaranteed. A failed dam would be tragic enough, but this does not preclude ongoing degradation during construction, operation and maintenance from blasting, transportation corridors, dewatering, dispersal of contaminants into the watershed, noise pollution and air pollution in the midst of a pristine invaluable natural environment. Fifteen years of research and study into a copper sulfide mine’s possible effects in this sensitive area have only made the proposed mine more toxic.
Copper-sulfide mining in the Bristol Bay watershed would be devastating on our fresh water resources, the health of communities who depend on this watershed, the flora, fauna, unspoiled lakes like Lake Iliamna, the long term profitability and viability of world class salmon and sports fishing, tourism and natural habitats. As if these things were not enough, how does monetary profit compare to true wealth? Do we choose short term boom and bust economies over the health of our planet? What is true wealth but an environment like that in the Bristol Bay watershed; and who in their right mind would give this up for any amount of financial gain? This watershed would be changed forever by permitting any copper sulfide mine to operate within its boundaries.
I formally and respectfully request that the proposal herewith to withdraw proposed 404(c) protections for the Bristol Bay area be denied. The withdrawal legalese found under the name “Proposed Determination to Restrict Use of Area as Disposal Site: Pebble Deposit Area, Southwest Alaska; Proposed Withdrawal” will allow the permitting process for this mine to begin, an outcome that we cannot sanction for the sake of future generations who depend upon decisions we make today.
Anita Suzanne Dedman-Tillemans
October 12, 2017
We are in a world of illusion in which words have become an important path by which the powerful rule. These words should surprise no one …… Read more “When Predators Rule”
We see beauty for good reason – not simply as an abstract, but because it is a beacon so essential to life. With appreciation, we become stewards, moving in harmony with the seasons, accepting the nature of things, rather than seeking dominion. Through awareness, comes a morality that sustains us.
What is morality but good stewardship, a system that sustains and supports all life without judgment? When we are lost, beauty in many guises stands above all else to light our way. In the darkest of times, it is our appreciation that gives us strength and understanding. Where our paths will lead we cannot know, nor do we need to know. We see beauty, we know joy, and our lives are made whole.
The happiest people know this. They are ever-present and realize that the substance of their lives lies in the beauty of the spheres, moment to moment.
Black lives matter, of course, but we need action… and words can segregate us.
Language is a problem because when we claim one thing, then the opposite seems just as likely. Hard to fight the repercussions that come from these kind of statements. For instance, one might ask, if black lives matter then how about mine? I am a different color, not black. Does my life matter too? Why wasn’t my particular color, creed, gender … mentioned?
Of course, we know in retrospect what is meant and why it’s being said. Our hearts go out to all those who have suffered from prejudice and tyranny especially black lives in this country; that is, anyone with a heart feels the shame and the sadness.
Women have suffered, immigrants are suffering now in this country, children go to bed hungry at night, the poor, always, and this knows no boundaries, however defined. When will we learn as a community in mass that this kind of segregation happens not only in practice, but first in words.
(to be continued)
Natural systems favor those who are the most well-adapted to their environment; while money ensures a limited pool through the implementation of an educational hierarchy.
Why is it so often true that the worst of us run the rest of us, causing the suffering of so many? Many of these leaders, as Benjamin Franklin put it in his famous oration of 1787 on “Dangers of a Salaried Bureaucracy,” are “the bold and the violent, the men of strong passions and indefatigable activity in their selfish pursuits.”
In the beginning it is said, there was the Word; and human civilization, since, has been built on propaganda that favors the rich and powerful … language, then, the tool of those in power, ultimately determines the appropriation of quality educational resources as a result.
For a society to flourish, it is essential that all children have access to an equal education. It is particularly harmful to communities when women are denied this opportunity; because they are ultimately the ones tasked to raise, protect and educate their children, children who are more likely to suffer a harder life if she fails.
One of the most important choices a woman can make, then, one that determines her quality of existence, is the choice of a mate … better made with a sound foundation and education at the heart. With knowledge, she is more likely to choose a partner rather than a ruler; and as a result, she will, then, be more likely to build self esteem in her children.
As a consequence, there can be no better way to improve the condition of society than improving educational opportunity for women and girls. For, when a woman benefits, the whole of society benefits. Seeing to it that there are no “best schools”… all schools offering the best tools possible for everyone who enters in, boy or girl, man or woman, creates better odds that our leaders will be fit and that society will thrive.
Manipulated by propaganda that tells us self-worth is in our wallet, we lose a natural propensity for good sense. As my father said to me once: “The rich put their pants on one leg at a time too.” We know the truth but too often are swayed by the flashing lights.
Money will not make America great again … it’s the character of our citizens that will do this. We had a courageous leader in George Washington who believed that we must: Vindicate our rights with firmness and cultivate peace with sincerity. It will take courage to stand up to the powerful interests that prevail today; and to understand that power, to be respected, must have a base in truth and respect for all life. When we develop a society with equity in education, and dare to get money out of the political arena, perhaps we will have leadership that speaks to these values as well.
I have long believed that our democracy was at risk through negligence. Too many distractions: television, internet, shopping for things that money will buy, constantly processing useless and energy robbing information …. We mistake a movie or sitcom for life, friends on social media for family, big houses and fancy cars for worth; and, in the process, miss the very life-giving force of living a life that is true to our own real needs.
It takes effort to develop these things and face-to face contact with our sleeves rolled up. It takes affection, appreciation and attention for this democracy to survive, all of which is at the heart of love.
May love prevail in this country.
Understanding the true meaning of success was a journey through a maze of propaganda and a lifetime of searching for the truth. I searched in the first place because I understood viscerally that propaganda was leading me in the wrong direction. It did not make me happy to follow these trails. I did not find true wealth in money and material things. Truth for me was found in the humanity of a smile, the beauty of a sunset, the warmth of firelight … and so I found that success in my life was inextricably linked to beauty, and that knowledge of this truth was the only thing that could bring me the happiness so important for it realization. It required me to reach outside of myself into a larger landscape to fulfill the admonition:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Jesus of Nazareth
Truth and kindness, then, made its way into my formula for success. Suited to every individual bar none; and the difficulty lies within ourselves, our own ability to see beyond the mundane sphere of our lives to the greater world around us, in order to know true success.
What would this planet be like if we took it upon ourselves to make this our life’s mission; and if we understood that whatsoever we do to the most humble of us we do to ourselves?
It does not mean going out of our way to do good for others. Leave someone alone, if need be. Show respect as you would have it … a simple smile or a greeting. What would you want? What would you expect if you were in their place? This kind of success knows no boundaries and no static definition. It is defined by the people who live it.
For a better world.
One can view this house on the way to Silver Lake by bus. The tree on its east, now gone, was a reminder of the elms that stood majestically along the boulevards in Minneapolis over 45 years ago. These trees have been taken down in great numbers … because, it seems, it was more cost effective to lumber them than to save them.
Trees are money of course. Never mind that they harbor and nourish wildlife, birds of all kinds and others, including humans, that require the shelter, the food, the shade, breadth and breath of an old tree.
Heart-sick watching these giants being harvested in the city of Minneapolis … to make room for more big box houses and parking lots, water parks, roads, sidewalks, and for pulp, mulch, or table tops and doors.
When will we, as a society, learn that old growth trees are essential … that we need clean air … clean water … and earth that is growing? In this regard, trees are vital. Money will not provide this. We will continue to see species extermination until this is learned in earnest throughout the whole of human society.
Do we own our technology, or does it own us? Do we own our possessions, or do they own us? Will we be happier with bigger houses and fancier cars, trips to somewhere else when we have no true investment in the places we live? Better not to grow any investment if it means destroying our base and, with it, the living legacy of our old trees.
I miss the canopy that stood over the boulevards in Minneapolis when I arrived almost 50 years ago … replaced by saplings, which are being trimmed regularly to optimize board feet when harvested. The arbor that arched over our streets cannot be replaced in an entire lifetime. What kind of world are we making on our way to making money?
The Supremacy Clause of our United States Constitution (Article VI, Clause 2) established the Constitution as supreme law of the land, becoming the cornerstone of our political structure. It established that no matter what the federal government or states wish to do the laws made would have to comply with the Constitution.
“Congress shall make no law … prohibiting the … right of the people … to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
A16-1367 Tyler Vasseur, et al., petitioners, Respondents, vs. City of Minneapolis, et al., Appellants, Ginny Gelms, in her capacity as Elections Manager, Hennepin County:
Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Daniel P. Rogan, Senior Assistant County Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for respondent Ginny Gelms
“The district court erred in granting respondents’ petition pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 204B.44(a) (Supp. 2015), and directing the Minneapolis City Council to include a question regarding a proposed minimum-wage amendment to the Minneapolis City Charter on the ballot for the general election because the City Charter vests general legislative authority solely in the City Council.”
Acting Justices, Judge Randolph W. Peterson and Louise Dovre Bjorkman.
(Took no part, Justices David R. Stras, David L. Lillehaug, Margaret H. Chutich and Anne K. McKeig)
In conclusion, the Mn Supreme Court decided that:
“Minneapolis residents are not permitted to directly implement legislation by petition” that their elected representatives, “so far, have refused to” pursue), rev. denied (Minn. Aug. 25, 2005).5
The pictured overlook stands on the bluffs above a cave that the Indians named wakon-teebe, known by various names as Dwelling of the Great Spirit or Mystery, House of Spirits and the Spirit House. It contains a crystal pool fed by spring water that had reported flows of 25 gallons per minute and held ancient Indian hieroglyphs, until they were destroyed by railroad construction. A shadow of the original visited by Jonathan Carver in 1766, this cave stands on the banks of the Mississippi in the bed of what was once the great river, Warren, which discharged glacial waters from the largest lake ever known, Lake Agassiz.
What stood thousands of years took relatively little time to desecrate. St. Paul & Chicago Railroad condemned the strip of land along its river bank, dug it down and nearly destroyed it. Most of what was carved away held the cave’s petroglyphs. The entrance is now sealed by a steel door following habitation during the Great Depression, curiosity seekers and landscaping for public and private use, all of which could not help to change the essence of what it was for thousands of years to the Native Americans. The Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary is now home to this “spirit cave” and there have been improvements in the surrounding park.
The bluffs above wakon-teebe, designated Indian Mounds Park, hold sacred burial mounds many of which have been destroyed for expediency. Only six were spared of at least 37 known in the area, to be registered as historic preservation sites.
At the overlook above the cave, garbage was strewn everywhere, the only two garbage cans, overflowing … plastic bags, pop cans, trash in abundance down the side of this bluff. Votive candles on the stone walls below a solitary old tree testified to the still sacred nature of this place, where a vigilant bald eagle perched above the river valley.
Views from the bluffs are breathtaking and reveal the immensity of this river valley, filled now with artifacts of our “progress” — an airport, trains and tracks, barges and, among other things, Pigs Eye Waste Treatment Plant, while the Great Spirit has, evidently, been evicted and locked out, perhaps perched in the old tree above the cave.
The ironies still amaze and befuddle as mankind’s journey to full cognition remains, seemingly, elusive.
The state of Minnesota made a mistake in the late 1800’s by permitting a mine at the Hill of Three Waters in what is now known as the Hull Rust Mine. By diverting the attention away from the actual fountainhead of the Mississippi so that mines could be established, and declaring the “official” head at Lake Itasca, a 2 mile square lake in the far west of the state, this made mining possible on the Iron Range; and has been a primary cause of pollution in the great Mississippi River and its wetlands at the source. It has also set precedent for more mining in the highlands of the Laurentian Divide, the primary recharge source for three great rivers of the world, that of the Mississippi River, Rainy River and the St Louis River (extreme headwaters of the Great Lakes and the St Lawrence Seaway). Now we stand to see another precedent set, one for copper mining.
DNR approval of the FEIS for NorthMet in March 2016, and subsequent opening for Polymet to proceed with applications for permits has opened the potential of a floodgate of pollution from copper mining in one of the most water rich and water dependent ecosystems in the North American continent, at the headwaters of three great rivers …. There is, literally, no other place like it- because of this.
If these permits are approved, allowing for a reduction in air and water quality and destruction of wetlands just south and along the border of the BWCAW, it will open the door to United States Forest Service approval of the land exchange, an exchange that Polymet cannot do without.
If the USFS approves the land exchange, this would be forfeiting its authority to mining interests over lands that were set aside for protection. The Forest Service would be trading, not only lands, but a trust that these ecosystems would be protected from exploitation for generations to come.
Polymet will be mining water resources, destroying wetlands, by their own admission; and, in effect, degrading natural resources, flora and fauna, with its lease to continuously extract metals in an open-pit mine. They will be requiring permits to do all of this, including permits to take endangered species on lands that the Forest Service was given in trust.
In addition, this would help establish precedent that could facilitate more land exchanges of this type. By trading these lands, USFS would, essentially, be demonstrating a lack of will in exercising its authority and create a barter system that conflicts with the role as steward. It would allow exploitation and cannot be reconciled with this public trust … water being their most sacred trust.
The entire state and beyond would pay the price.
May sanity prevail.
We can all agree that the advent of fossil fuel extraction and use has changed our world. What does this mean?
Benzene is found in the air from burning coal and oil, at gasoline service stations, and in motor vehicle exhaust. Some effects from short term inhalation are impaired driving from dizziness and sleepiness, and unconsciousness (at high levels). It is known to cause irritation to eye, skin, and respiratory tract as well as creating changes in the composition of red blood cells, increased incidence of leukemia, risks to the fetus in pregnancy among other toxic risks. It is known by the EPA as a known human carcinogen for all routes of exposure.
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) are known to cause acid rain which affects our waterways and forests, destroying these natural environments ability to sustain life.
Petroleum Coke (Pet Coke): abundant toxins in heavy dust from bitumen: chromium, vanadium, sulfur, selenium … being used now in coal-fired power plants and emits 5-10 times more CO2 than coal. Even so, it is excluded from most assessments of climate impact because it is considered a refinery byproduct.
Formaldehyde (from natural gas) a carcinogen with known links to leukemia and nasopharyngeal cancers, a potent allergen and DNA alterative, also contributes to ground-level ozone. It is commonly used in fracking for which the industry does not report details of its use.
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) an entire class of toxic chemicals which are known as carcinogens and genetic mutagens are endemic in the production of oil and gas. We can already see the effects on wildlife after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Mercury, largest single source of airborne mercury emissions in the U.S is from coal-fired plants from and is known as a dangerous neurotoxin. It will affect the brain development of a child, delaying walking and conversation, attention span … high doses in the womb and in infants can cause mental retardation, cerebral palsy, deafness and blindness. In adults it is known to affect a person’s ability to reproduce, can cause memory loss, numbness in the extremities ….
Silica Dust or crystalline silica (frac sand) is a carcinogen and breathing silica dust can lead to silicosis, which is a form of lung disease with no cure. Commonly used during fracking operations, each stage of the process requires hundreds of thousands of pounds of silica quartz–containing sand. Millions of pounds may be used for a single well.
Radon used is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas which though it comes from a variety of natural sources, the fracking industry represents a significant new and increased source of radon exposure to millions of citizens. Radon is released into local groundwater and air during fracking operations. It also travels through pipelines to the point of use—be it a power plant or a home.
Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) / Hydrogen Fluoride from oil and gas production is one of the most dangerous acids known and can damage lungs, moving into deep tissue, including bone, where it causes cellular damage. It can be fatal if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
These are only 10 of the toxins attributed to the fossil fuel industry but there are other far reaching effects of oil, gas and coal production.
Greenhouse gas-induced climate change
Massive highway systems and traffic jams
War and increased Military, being one of the biggest consumers of fossil fuels
Loss of Wilderness
Pollution of the aquifers and air
Earthquakes from fracking
Mining of water reserves
Species extinctions …
The automobile: Could Henry Ford have imagined the long term results of widespread personal automobile use, the massive highway systems, the infrastructure to supply oil, pipelines through aquifers, offshore drilling and spills in marine ecosystems to supply an insatiable thirst for energy and wealth from its production, the danger to our air, water, foods and our health … the health of not only our species, but all others on Earth at stake?
Ford was a pacifist and believed that mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers would make life better for all. He believed that consumerism was a key to peace. Has it been the answer? Is money and access to all manner of disposable goods the panacea for what ails the human race? Are we all richer for having this kind of access? The more money we have the more is spent … better yet to provide a life worth living to all in a fair and equitable world where money does not rule. Has material accumulation made us richer and created a peaceful world? The results are obvious.
There is no end to this kind of consumption, because it never truly satisfies. While the renegade fossil fuel industry destroys sacred lands in North Dakota, the news media turns a blind eye and consumers head to the gas station to fill their tanks.
We walked along the shore looking out over the Pacific Ocean, wandering around giant cedars that had drifted up along the shore … nature’s taking …. and yet mankind continues to take so much more – clearing mountaintops of ancient stands of cedars in the Olympic National Forest. Giants felled, and man the so-called “conqueror”.
Was this path intended all along? Civilizations have come and gone for much the same reasons; and we never seem to learn that these resources are finite.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Seems the only answer to this dilemma; and yet, where are we along that path?
To take a trip to look at the leaves, observe and enjoy the changing season perhaps might seem a distant and impractical use of limited time in a busy schedule, but don’t we all need this at some point in our lives? Isn’t it a necessity to enjoy whatever color lights your path along the way? It has been said so many times that life is all about moments and that the best things in life are free. In spite of this age tested advice, we have traveled too far away from true wealth, so that we can make a life that looks good on a balance sheet.
Too many people are living on a see-saw in a volatile financial market. The “worst in us running the rest of us”. As vested pensions were replaced by market driven portfolios, retirees, then, were chained to perpetual investment strategies at a time when enjoying the fall color might be warranted. A lifetime of paying into social security (double for baby boomers) and medicare, wall street retirement plans, insurance policies, mortgages and rents have left retirees wishing they could take that time. While young people with a lifetime of college debt ahead and low paying jobs, high rents and food costs are literally immersed in a world that sells everything but the things they need for happiness.
Perhaps we could all use a little color.
It was a new experience to see Perrot State Park. A beautiful place along the Mississippi River. And yet we were advised not to drink the water from the campground faucets ….
A few years back, with a friend, I drove south beyond Wabasha, along the Minnesota side of the Great River Road. This should have been the growing season, full of life … flora and fauna … birds flying and sounding in the wetlands and, even so, there was utter silence in the middle of this day near the place where there are frack sand mining operations, operations that you cannot see from the road … though their presence is becoming more and more evident through the years.
How long will we allow corporations to profit from the destruction of our environment, the loss of water and air quality, the diminishing quality of life? How long will it be before we experience a silent spring?
As I read the continuing saga of Polymet and it’s efforts to mine copper in the northern woods of Minnesota, I remember the over-40 years since this abominable prospect first showed its ugly head … a distant cry that seemed unfathomable, impossible.
It has been almost 50 years since my coming to Minnesota and since I saw this land of 10,000 lakes and the “mother of waters” for the first time, Lake Superior, a dream, an unimaginable, unbelievable natural wonder. Naive and in love with this beautiful land, I could never imagine that we would poison the air and water, Minnesota’s blue-sky lakes and waterfalls, streams and wetlands with the castoffs of the mining industry and the coal burning plants used to support the mining process; but, this is what we have done. Now we know what pollution can do.
Do we stand up and say “no more”? Have we said to Polymet … “don’t even consider this prospect”? No. Through the Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota has sold the prospect of more mining, more lumbering, more degradation .. all for the sake of financial gain in a short term view.
But what of the long term? We await the deciding. After many years of NO from the people in Minnesota, the DNR, the US Forest Service and the Army Corps of Engineers still hold the prospect over our heads. How long does it take to say NO?
No matter what happens at the Democratic Convention, Senator Bernie Sanders’ run for the Presidency has deepened our awareness of politics in the United States of America. … Read more “A Man of His Word”
Life is fatal. It is not a question that we all die … but how we live.
To live is to love with a sense of community … since no one lives without the kindness and good will of others on some level. Happiness and survival, then, are linked by love; and health, gained by living in a mutual effort to make our lives as rich and meaningful as is possible in this very short time on Earth … leaving a better place for our children.
When we see others suffering, as a consequence, it is our family that we see suffering, since we are all part of this fabric of life, and our understanding, deep-rooted and wordless. Clean food, water and air are basic. To destroy these things for the profit of a few is not healthy and it is, in fact, a sign of dysfunction on a global scale and profoundly disturbing.
What will we do about the assault on the health of this planet? Are we working fast enough and diligently enough to install the systems necessary for peaceful coexistence? Building the resources for education of our children, all children, so that our species will evolve to a higher plain?
Time will tell. Will we have enough of it before our life as a species runs its course?
For the sake of our beautiful planet.
Observing events of the past week, and in a quandary over the number of gunshots used in many of the police motivated killings, I wonder about over-the-top… Read more “Loss of Innocents: The Politics of Fear and the Use of Deadly Force”
Since the killing of Mike Brown, there has been an awakening across this country and the police force needs a revamping in our communities with accountability to a citizens’ board of review. No innocent should be handled in the way that Philando Castile was handled by police.
In spite of the odds, young people of color are making a difference with very real courage. In spite of the danger, they are willing to stand up to injustice. In spite of a system that works to deny them equal opportunity, many are managing to live a life as Philando Castile, doing great good.
We cannot accept the status quo because we all lose when we lose souls like these.
In forest ecology, a canopy defined by the upper layer of all forests is a habitat zone formed by mature crowns of trees and containing a diverse system of organisms in a healthy ecosystem. It is a cover, and an environment so different than one without.
In terms of many urban areas, this canopy is quickly being destroyed in the name of “healthy forest” initiatives and for urban development, while saplings are given the impossible task of “replacing” what they cannot replace.
- Faced with higher temperatures annually, middle-aged trees, as well as saplings are dying from drought. With less tree cover and more concrete, more heat, a vicious cycle of deforestation ensues and escalates. Our canopy in Minneapolis, at less than 32 percent, continues to diminish.
- Much wood is being used for energy purposes and for other commercial interests; so, through short-sighted practices and views, these mature trees become worth more dead than alive.
- Rather than divert a road, create a sustainable alternative, short term development projects, new over-sized homes and housing developments apply expediency over sanity. It takes time to treat a pattern, to water a tree and keep it free from disease and pests. It costs money too, sometimes.
- Suffice to say, with less water and higher temperatures, a tree has no stamina to fight disease and infestations. It certainly cannot survive a chain saw aimed at its destruction. Witness the wholesale destruction of mature ash trees along one boulevard after another in Minneapolis.
- Public policies that prioritize cutting down healthy trees from fear of infestation or disease, rather than watering and wise tree care, replace our canopy with saplings that have even less prospect of survival.
A canopy of mature trees, some that have stood for one hundred or more years cannot be replaced by saplings, no matter how many we plant. Management practices need to change to a holistic approach, understanding that all things, even emerald ash borer, has its place in this system. Insecticides and removal should be emergency management options only. Wouldn’t it be better to maintain a healthy forest, one that is managed long term to retain its canopy, with an urban forest management system that has teeth?
On my walk this morning through a neighborhood of old trees, some over a hundred years old, I headed through one block where the canopy covers like a rain forest and cools like a mountain stream. As I approached, unmistakable sounds of heavy equipment and saws broke the silence.
Another one and a half story home, built prewar, sold to be replaced with the newest rage, cathedral ceilings and marble; so the old white oak tree in its yard, towering over 80 feet above, was trimmed and removed … no replacement possible. An old story where money matters most.
Old trees, more than commodities, more than board feet, outlast the structures that replace them, but for the next fad or money making development on horizon, which always seems to be of more consequence than these towering testaments to life. Never mind the hundreds of species that depend on a tree of this size. Never mind that it will take another hundred years to replace. Never mind the shade and the oxygen it supplies. Never mind the peace and tranquility it provides, the forests and the streams that owe their existence to these monuments!
This old tree could have lived another hundred years providing shade and shelter for so many. It was not to be, though; because, you see, somebody needed to make money and that old tree was in the way. Mankind must have his cathedral ceilings to replace the true cathedrals in nature, while millions of trees die from drought in California, and millions more from short-sighted views concerning real worth. Money blinding and narrowing the view, there appears to be no value in the life of an old tree.
As a society may soon realize in our actions, only too late, that one generation plants the trees that the next generation will enjoy; and, that we are quickly destroying our base.
There are too many troubling aspects of the Jamar O Neal Clark killing and events leading up to the fatal early morning hours of that November night – an event that actually began with a series of episodes over many months involving police brutality. He had a case and that case ended with his death.
If we see with our hearts’ and not just with our minds’ eyes, there is no doubt that this young man was denied his rights and essentially murdered in cold blood; and that the account by law enforcement has been manipulated, not to serve the public good, but to serve its own interests. The irony, then, is that this kind of “justice” serves no one, least of all the police department.
- Why would the police pull Jamar out of view of the camera and out of the light? Wouldn’t lights and clear video footage have been helpful to assure a doubting public that the police acted within reason to serve and protect this community?
- The police officers and the EMS deputy, 5’11 and 220 lbs, are big men. Both officers had guns, while Jamar was unarmed, a slim man standing 5’8″, no more than 160 lbs, and only 24 years old. Were these men armed with reason instead of guns, perhaps this young man would still be alive.
- As the EMS deputy approached, Jamar stepped back from the ambulance. Two minutes later, he appeared lifeless with a bullet through his temple … after, it appears, having had his left wrist cuffed by Schwarze while Ringgenberg maneuvered the right hand over his head, without struggle, and slammed Jamar to the ground. NO time to ask questions or use reason with this young man, to get to the truth of any matter. Why was any violence necessary? Why did Officer Ringgenberg use this take-down tactic when he was, obviously, not adept at using it, claiming this slight young man, Jamar, was reaching for Ringgenberg’s holstered gun as that officer lay on top of him and the other officer held a gun to his head. It doesn’t take much in the way of smarts to know that this was a no-win situation for Jamar.
- By most all witness accounts and by video evidence, there were no signs of any struggle from Jamar; but the EMS MVR does show Officer Ringgenberg flailing his legs wildly while laying on his back on top Jamar after the take down at the time of the shooting. Does it seem reasonable that a trained officer would put himself in this position, placing his holstered weapon next to Jamar’s hands, when Jamar could have been easily cuffed standing. By all accounts except his assailants, Jamar Clark was peaceable as he stood waiting for police officers and the EMS deputy on the boulevard.
- Rayann Hayes’ says her last memory of Jamar alive was at the ambulance window looking in. According to Rayann, she was given pain medication and remembers nothing after this in the EMS vehicle.
- Why are relevant medical records closed to public scrutiny?
- Why was ambulance #443 not sent to the forensics garage?
- Why are the run reports for the two ambulances not available to public scrutiny?
- Did Attorney Freeman take into account conflicting reports on the sequence of events involving the security of EMS vehicle #419 the night of the shooting?
- May we have an accounting of all officers and attendants involved with ambulance #443 at rest two blocks away from the scene of the crime, before it was driven to HCMC with Mr Clark?
- What of the red bag placed in Jamar’s transport after he entered, and then another identical (or the same) red bag quickly taken out, before ambulance #443 left? EMS deputy Trullinger then placed this red bag next to an officer at the crime scene. There is no red bag documented at the crime scene.
- Shouldn’t the crime scene have been secured immediately? As it was, video evidence and key witness accounts indicate that there were many unidentified officers walking in and out of said area. Yet very few officers give testimony to this.
- The views of Jamar’s wrists, taken for forensics, are obstructed by bandages, tape and tubes. Only what appears to be the underside of Jamars’ right wrist is shown with the bandage lifted, and this photo is blurry. The left wrist on the underside is not shown. No fluid of any kind was moving through those tubes.
- Had Jamar died at the scene? He suffered cardiac arrest with a bullet through the temple that lodged in his brain.
- Upon exit from ambulance #443, there is no IV on Jamar’s left wrist as it limply falls off the side. The IV was in his right wrist; and it too fell off the side of his transport.
- Crucial details are obscured in the videos from both ambulances and at very low resolution (360). Shouldn’t an EMS MVR be of better quality?
- If life preserving techniques were being used to save Jamar at HCMC, then, why wasn’t the bullet removed?
- Any statement that there were no handcuffs because there were no contusions on Jamar’s wrists, presumes that he struggled. An absence of bruising would have been just as likely if, as witnesses claim, Jamar was cuffed without a struggle.
- Officers Schwarze and Ringgenberg were delivered to the 4th Precinct together in Officer Sworski’s squad car, who self-assigned. Supervision of a sergeant is standard procedure. Therefore, there was quite a bit of time for the officers to talk between themselves after the MVR automatically shut off in the 4th precinct parking lot.
- The gun in question was handled by Sworski before being returned to Schwarze. This Smith and Wesson brushed Officer Connor’s hat on the dashboard, as well. NO way to handle crucial evidence from the scene of a killing. Why was it not bagged at the scene of the crime with both Schwarze’s and Ringgenberg’s gear? Another failure to secure a crime scene.
- The officers did not provide their clothing for forensics until December 2015. Is this standard procedure in an investigation?
- Officers Schwarze and Ringgenberg arrived at 4th precinct prior to the incident for break; and so their videos for the day downloaded and the MVR shut off automatically. It was at 00:40 am that they were called to the scene on a code 3 reportedly arriving at 00:48:14. Since the officers did not activate their emergency lights on the way to the crime scene, the MVR remained off. They chose not to activate it manually.
- With over 60 responders at the scene of this crime, emergency lights flashing, it begs the question, where are relevant MPD MVR’s from 00:40 to 01:20am on that fateful night? Surely there must have been something of substance on at least one of these videos.
Freeman’s one-man jury, using the perpetrators’ testimony above all, was flawed by prejudice. It will not, nor should it be, the last word. Words and/or manipulations of facts to create preferred outcomes will not make any of this right. As it is in art and with any act that uses illusion to portray a particular vision, seeing is believing only to a point. There is no amount of manipulation that will make truth out of a lie.
Indigenous cultures understood that man was part of nature. How far we have wandered from that understanding … to evolve into a creature that deems, or dreams, himself outside the constructs of the natural world, in effect, defining himself as somehow superior to all other creatures and capable of framing his world in any terms he chooses. The problem lies in man’s failure to understand and accept that he is inextricably linked to nature and he too, like all things, is subject to its laws. Like the elements, all life and man, Nature is a process and God lies in the wisdom of this process. Man has yet to fully accept the process.
All creatures survive by procreation and predation. In life’s quest for itself, we are often pawns of biological rhythms and instincts; and so, mankind envisions himself capable of rising above this all too ‘sordid’ affair. In this effort, he fails to acknowledge and accept essential qualities of life and, as a consequence, loses sight of vital solutions.
Chance and change, movement, the nature of life. There is no life without death or night without day. We rush foolishly to our own destruction when we deny the very truths of existence. In fear of our own mortality and searching for eternity, man has wandered from the natural world and lost himself.
I am. In these two words, a world, a universe. Acceptance is everything, and life is born of this first step. Judgments tend to separate us, categorize and catalog us, negate qualities in some and elevate those in others, in the end doing us all injustice. In our unreasonable search for perfection, we often fail to see the beauty before our eyes, in our fellow man and miss countless opportunities.
Nature seeks balance and evolves perpetually based on outcomes. Watch an otter whose catch has been taken by a coyote. He complains and fights, as long as there is a chance he might prevail. In the end, he accepts the outcome and begins another hunt, no wailing that life is unfair or questioning his very existence. He is simply accepting the facts and the flow of life. Man is the only creature that perpetually refuses to accept natural outcomes, including himself. He builds dams in an effort to control the river and succeeds in destroying its essence.
Mankind’s egoism and lack of understanding perpetuate greed and destruction, like an allergic reaction attacking the body as if it were the enemy instead of a wellspring. He searches for the ideal beyond existence while the real prize unfolds before him every day, every moment. In this quest driven by fear, he misses the only perfection that life holds. Is he afraid that in a moment of clarity he may discover his true self, that he, after all, is no better or worse than any other animal, a wave on the shore, or the moon in its perpetual cycle?
A friend once asked, rhetorically: “Why was anything forbidden in Eden if God had created a perfect world?’ A world in utter completeness and balance, the “perfect” world does not exist. As soon as any balance has been achieved, life requires its undoing and in the end, we are unable to appreciate, in essence, the rose. We remain fixed on an idea of beauty as if it were a finite definable everlasting thing. Melancholy sits beside us while we contemplate how fleeting beauty and impossible the dream. In our sorrow and our unwillingness to accept Nature, we miss the symphony.
Man falls into a trap on this path. He cannot accept failure in his search for Eden, and cannot accept that this search is based on a false premise. Seeking balance is a natural phenomenon but it becomes a problem when the search focuses on perfection as a static, narrowly defined commodity. Man cannot own the dream and so he becomes contemptuous of himself for this perceived failure. Where he might instill love and promote cooperation, acceptance, he fosters doubt, hate and fear, continuing a cycle of violence with dismal futures for the planet. Mankind spirals down a path of destruction and self-hate, missing true potentials in his brothers and sisters since he is loath to see these same potentials in himself.
How do we define success in life? Is it based on some narrow precept, or has it been fitted with tolerance and love, with the knowledge that not all is perfect, least of all Mankind? Does it come with acceptance that the dance is a product of imbalance and imperfection, an understanding that at any moment, to be aware, to be alive is success itself? In our search for something outside of reality, we miss all that truly matters!
In our determination to make distinctions, we judge ourselves superior to the natural world and surmise that “improvements” to all things can be made through man’s inventions. We can never create anything outside of nature; and since no positive change is possible without truth, self-awareness is crucial. The belief that our species trumps all others and rises above the forces of nature, that we can circumvent these forces defies all logic. Simply observe. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Within this framework, life is movement from one state of being to another; and man’s machinations are subject to no less. If we fail to respect our true selves, the natural instincts that created man and the imperfections implicit in all life, the world created from our ignorance will not be fit for life.
Man alters natural codes that took millennia to evolve. He splits atoms and leaves the waste to pollute the earth. He destroys mountaintops and calls the product “clean coal”, pollutes our seas with oil, our air and earth with its derivatives and calls it necessary. In a rush to glean the resources of this planet, he makes choices based on profit rather than sanity and sustainability. Man, in his renegade actions, refuses to practice common sense and beats a path of environmental ruin. He is a hurricane with the potential to change course through self-awareness and respect, perhaps; but, we may never know, without the recognition that we are all part and parcel of this natural world.
Our life’s safari involves a hunt for more than food and shelter. Like all living things, we reach for light and that light is in us all. All Nature moves beyond the mundane in this dimension. Birds sing at dawn. Squirrels collect articles that have no practical use – like items in a child’s pocket. All creatures appreciate beauty, and, like the otter, recognize truth. For what is truth but a natural outcome, and beauty the same? Our fate may very well be determined by our relationship to this process and our respect for truth.
In our quest to define a world in defiance of natural laws, mankind is racing down an incline blindfolded, without brakes and fully loaded. Venturing into abstraction, we stretch the bounds of reality by searching for meaning beyond existence and perverting a basic instinct for beauty into a dogged search for perfection and for immortality, without understanding or respect for the nature of all things. While we strive to realize our dreams, it would be wise to keep a watchful eye on the road, do proper maintenance, and obey the laws of physics, at least.
Inseparable from the natural world, man finds his dawn in beauty, but beauty is not a static ideal. It is the well from which all life drinks, ever-changing, dynamic, boundless and perfect in its imperfection, an essential quality of life. Acceptance, born of tolerance and truth, synchronizes with immutable forces that create and sustain life, in essence, the only Eden possible.
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?
Permit processing will begin shortly. One of the permits that will be needed allows for taking of endangered species. There are timber wolves, Canadian Lynx, moose, many waterfowl and other important species that make this area their home …. not to mention the water.
While the MDNR (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) has approved the NorthMet Copper Mine Project’s environmental impact study in the St Louis County of northern Minnesota at the headwaters of the St Lawrence Seaway and Lake Superior , we wait for permits and the final RODs (record of decisions) from the National Forest Service and the Army Corps of Engineers.
The project depends on the National Forest Service’s approval of a land exchange … trading public, “protected” lands for private lands so that Polymet can mine.
If Polymet cannot make good on their financial promises for this project (and these are many), then the taxpayers of Minnesota will foot the bill for clean up (a clean up, in all probability, that will go into an unforeseeable future. Future generations will inevitably suffer the consequences.
For the sake of our waters,
Comment# 1k0-8ncq-3csy :
TPP Employment Impact Review
Docket number: USTR-2015-0012
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not a trade agreement but a treaty and should be subject to due process as all treaties must be. It affects more than trade and will surrender “due process” in lieu of forced arbitration and tribunals picked by the few involved in litigation.
The proposed arbitration process under the TPP will naturally affect a wide swath of people, far beyond those privy to discovery because, unlike a trade agreement, it covers far more than trade; and the potential harmful effects of corporate policies made law, through this process, cannot be fought in courts of the land, but through private arbitration with business profits in mind.
In effect, these kind of decisions may affect those who have no ability or legal right through this “agreement” to protest or even know what is being arbitrated. It will naturally be prejudicial to the interests of those who have the power to present their case and view the details of the case; while the people who, most likely, will be responsible for paying the bills or suffering the effects of these decisions will have no legal input.
Sovereign nations that have agreed to this corporate agreement will not be able to opt out of this agreement as they would in a treaty if, in fact, the voters decided that the agreement was not in the best interest of their country. The citizens of this country would be forfeiting their right to public disclosure and discovery, the right to protect their jobs, their environments, their food through due process to corporate profits and interests decided in closed door binding arbitration.
In conclusion, this Trans-Pacific Partnership is not a pact between countries dealing simply with tariffs and trading arrangements, but a corporate business agreement affecting every aspect of a sovereign nation without allowing the protections afforded by the judicial system of justice in a treaty.
After years of corporate discussion that left the public, the taxpaying citizen, in the dark concerning this so-called “trade agreement”, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we are now given two weeks, after Christmas and in the New Year holiday season to comment. The deadline approaches, tomorrow January 13, 2013. Tasked to read over 5,000 pages and comment, it is no small wonder if few of us understand the full implication of this corporate agreement.
The poor slobs who will have to pay for corporate run of our countries, our environment, our jobs and our welfare will have very little to say if our Congress goes along with this lopsided corporate business agreement. We will be forfeiting our sovereignty, public discussion and agreement to business and forced arbitration.
Please submit your comments at the link below in .doc or pdf format with the title “TPP Employment Impact Review” on the first page.
Let your congress men and women know that the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership does not fly with the citizens of this nation; and that we did not have adequate say in the development of this legally binding document.
There is an excellent article at the Huffington Post:
Your input is so important to the future sovereignty and welfare of this nation.
A law firm has already been hired by the state to handle any lawsuits that may result from the ROD concerning the NorthMet Project; and this leaves… Read more “Will we be paying to defend Polymet?”
As a follow up to my review of the FEIS, November 2015, I have included, as part of this letter, twelve comments and questions concerning the proposed copper mine in Babbitt and associated processing plant in Hoyt Lakes.
How would a land exchange void the responsibility vested in USFS as the steward of public lands presently in their care?
With the proposed land exchange, USFS would be forfeiting its authority to mining interests over lands that were set aside for protection. The Forest Service would be trading, not only lands, but a trust that these ecosystems would be protected from exploitation for generations to come.
Polymet will be mining water resources, destroying wetlands, by their own admission; and, in effect, degrading natural resources, flora and fauna, with its lease to continuously extract metals in an open-pit mine. They will be requiring permits to do all of this, including permits to take endangered species on lands that the Forest Service was given in trust, lands that USFS would need to trade in order for mining to occur.
In addition, this would help establish precedent that could facilitate more land exchanges of this type. By trading these lands, USFS would, essentially, be demonstrating a lack of will in exercising its authority.
This land exchange, essentially, would create a barter system that conflicts with the USFS’ role as steward and allows exploitation. By any reasoning, the land exchange cannot be reconciled with this public trust.
Is it wise to risk the security of the St Louis Watershed, one that feeds the greatest freshwater lake by area in the world, Lake Superior, and lies at the extreme headwaters of the St Lawrence River?
All life depends upon reserves of water; and the Arrowhead is at the source of one of the largest supplies on Earth. St Louis River, at the extreme headwaters of the St Lawrence Seaway, supplies freshwater to Lake Superior and the Great Lakes. Products of the Laurentide Ice Sheet melt, Rainy Lake, Lake of the Woods, and Red Lake formed in the basin of Lake Agassiz, which extended over 170,000 square miles, possibly the largest freshwater lake ever (similar in size to the Black Sea). This glacial lake provided water to northern Minnesota, the Red River Valley and may still be discharging its glacial waters from the fractured metamorphic bedrock aquifers of the Arrowhead. The FEIS confirms that bedrock of the region has low conductivity and could take thousands of years to discharge.
In addition to the glacial waters of Agassiz, others glacial lakes like Norwood, Upham and Aitkin, products of the LIS, as well, have discharged their waters into the Arrowhead of Minnesota. Diverse moraines such as the Vermilion Moraine, left evidence in patterns of glacial till that can be seen around Babbitt, Ely, the Embarrass River area, and Hoyt Lakes, overlain in many areas by lush vegetation and lakes.
Covered by such a luxuriant carpet, the land that Polymet and others want to mine can be as difficult to inspect for existing aquifers, confined or otherwise, as it is to locate existing faults and fractures of bedrock in the area. This does not mean they don’t exist.
The fact that the NorthMet Project prospect lies within the boundary of the Vermilion Moraine, along with the BWCAW and Ely, makes this even more difficult. The potential of water traversing aquifers through fractured metamorphic bedrock, sight unseen, is heightened. No one spot duplicates another, essentially with variations in depth to bedrock by hundreds of feet, coverage of waterlogged vegetation and lakes, and a diversity that is like no other on earth.
Like faults, aquifers can be inferred invariably through their effects. Observe the copious discharge of water from the Big Stoney along the north shore of Minnesota. Observe the waters that so readily flow from the area of the Mesabi Widjiu, in rivers like Prairie River and Swan River from the Hill of Three Waters, the Vermilion River, St Louis River, Rainy River, and the great Mississippi. All one needs to do is observe.
As faults and fractures allow water to disperse in bedrock, these aquifers eventually find outlet in rivers, streams, fens, wetlands, falls, ponds and lakes at varying distances and directions from the site of recharge in the Laurentian Uplands.
According to the FEIS, surficial aquifers surrounding the mine site have a low conductivity, though not as low as bedrock in the same area, which supposedly decreases with depth. In this environment, then, it took thousands of years for glacial waters to make their way to the basin of Lake Superior. These waters can be seen dispersing in rich wetlands and rivers throughout; and they continue to nourish land in the Arrowhead supporting a vast and intricate ecosystem.
Does it make ecological sense to place a copper mine where it can do so much harm to water resources, with the potential of collecting into highly toxic sludge, polluting more and more of the surficial aquifers of the region, as waters are made stagnant and dead over the years?
There will be floods. There will be upheavals, as history proves … waters will disperse, as it is the nature of water to do. What will be left after the mine extracts precious reserves of water from aquifers, seen and unseen, confined or not, to process metals that serve its profit margin? Will there be any wild areas left, named or unnamed, categorized or not when the pollution from concentrates, waste rock and filters have found their way through this valuable ecosystem and the watersheds of the Arrowhead?
Our national security depends upon protection of freshwater resources, and the Arrowhead stands as a source of one of the largest fresh water reserves on earth. No copper mine is worth the risk of degrading this precious resource.
How can protection of a species be reconciled with destruction of habitat and nesting sites?
Since the various animal species do not pay attention to lines drawn on a map, they will trespass naturally. Water knows no real boundaries, either, over time; and time is the key word. In time, all things great and small in this water dependent ecosystem will be affected by actions proposed today in the Arrowhead.
The FEIS notes, that approximately 1,535 acres (58 percent) of mature forest would be lost at the mine site alone, that the species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) found at the mine site would be birds from Table 4.2.5-1 and that they would be “displaced.” The FEIS goes on to state that it is likely these birds would not be injured or killed, though nesting birds could be affected. The FEIS states that the mine would not likely affect individual migratory songbirds or other bird species protected under the MBTA; but would likely affect habitat and nest sites used by them.
How does one “affect” another’s home, without affecting the individual; and, as a matter of course, disturb nesting sites without disturbing the propagation of a species? With time, more species than those cited by the FEIS would be “affected” in the course of their reproductive cycles; and this, in turn, would naturally affect survival of a number of species in the area.
What security is there in a mining economy that depends entirely on the market, one that will not contribute to the real long-term wealth of this area?
Such an economy based on mining depends on the whims of a market. Copper mining will pollute the resources essential to our survival, perhaps into perpetuity, while providing profits and wealth to relatively few people over twenty years, more or less. After the mines have gone, as we see today, there will be masses of unemployed people, desperate, in a failing economy.
Recycling metals is on the upswing and processes for this type of recovery are being more fully developed as the North Met Project is being pondered. This could make mining for copper less profitable in a very short time. The price of commodities will vary, and markets are fickle. As a consequence, copper cannot guarantee a secure future, and certainly not a green economy in the Arrowhead.
Statistics abound concerning the wealth of wilderness tourism; and it cannot be reconciled with a mining scenario. When the copper mines are gone, what will be left? The choice is truly between wilderness and mining. Transport down scenic highways to and from the NorthMet Project will weave a web far beyond the sites that FEIS reviewed. Tourists will be traveling down the Superior National Forest Scenic Byway, along highways and roads to Hoyt Lakes, Embarrass, Ely, Babbitt and Silver Bay.
These potential long-term customers will see the effects of mining and it will affect the tourist industry. The sounds of blasting, trucks and drilling are not conducive to wilderness by any stretch; and neither is the potential of streams and waterways polluted with sulfuric acid and other toxins from mining copper.
Atmospheric conditions are unpredictable and Polymet will not be able to control these. The sounds of drilling from exploratory wells for copper and other metals can be heard in the BWCAW at this time. If Polymet gets permission to pollute and take lands in the Laurentian Uplands, there will be little peace for these areas, no chance of true wilderness experience and tourism.
Jobs that create a steady future do not lie in mining a land that, once mined, is degraded. Fields that once grew wild rice, grow no more. Waters that held rich stores of fish are dead and dying. Ecosystems fail and waters need constant treatment. Wetlands that once held diverse flora and fauna are no more.
This is not security.
The FEIS did not adequately address the potential effects of fossil fuels on the atmosphere surrounding the NorthMet Project.
Fossil fuel needs will escalate at LTV and the mining site, fuel and coal needs for the plant and mine, fuel for the vehicles, the crushers, the earthmovers and trains. Acid rain will emerge as an even greater problem, and the FEIS did not address this issue sufficiently. Repercussions will be felt in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, most certainly, from atmospheric effects alone.
Coal fired plants have provided energy to mines along the Mesabi Range for decades and, in the last 50 years, signs of acid rain have degraded foliage and forests in the path of their plumes. Witness dying birch, and mountain ash (that have all but entirely disappeared along the North Shore of Minnesota).
The effects of a copper mine in this fragile ecosystem will reach far beyond the boundaries of the plant and mine sites with potentially devastating effects.
This FEIS does not address known fractures, fault lines within the project site, and those along the Range. What of the Waasa and Camp Rivera Faults? What of the Vermilion Fault?
The effects of faults and fractures have been downplayed in models, which were made to inform the FEIS. The connectivity of bedrock with surficial aquifers assumed to be low, and the upper surface of fractured metamorphic bedrock assumed to be fractured more heavily at the top than down under. This conclusion seems convenient and arbitrary, since these structures cannot be truly known, sight unseen. Is there some reason that Polymet did not use the available information on inferred faults for more in depth field study on these particular areas?
The devil is always in the details. Though details can be used to obfuscate and avoid larger issues, these particular details are major omissions in a study that assumes to represent a truthful picture of the potential risks involved to groundwater from seepages and discharge through cracks, joints, fractures, faults, bore holes, from waste rock, slurry and tailings basins in the Laurentian Uplands.
Inferences are made all the time in science, through reason and implication, through the use of data and study. All knowledge is brought about in this way. To discount information on inferred faults is careless. The FEIS makes its own inferences. It infers that bedrock has low conductivity around the site and plant. It infers that the pollution would not travel far from the sites. It infers that all systems will operate sufficiently as expected over the lifetime of the mine and into perpetuity. It infers that, if a fault is found, it will be dealt with successfully. It infers much in supporting a copper mining scenario. Details and independent, in depth fieldwork is still needed concerning bedrock aquifers, faults and fractures in the area because of their potential for being conduits of pollution into ground water reserves, sight unseen.
Polymet admits seepage will occur, but it continues to minimize the risks through assumptions concerning the conductivity of fractured metamorphic bedrock and sand and gravel aquifers throughout the area. Water will most assuredly traverse aquifers and find the path of least resistance. The FEIS minimizes and leaves these pathways open to conjecture with promises that all will be handled, in time.
Potential effects that can be caused by drawdown in artesian springs, are given little review and field study, limited by assumptions and documents supporting the FEIS conclusion that bedrock geology plays a small part in hydrology of the area.
At the same time, we are assured that if there are, indeed, fractures, faults and confined aquifers found during operation, or that drawdown becomes a problem, these issues will be dealt with at the time. Of course, once an artesian has been drawn down, the chances of drawing it back up are limited. At this point, there does not appear to be any technology that can guarantee the renewal of an aquifer, or restoration of ground waters fouled?
Considering the importance of geology in this complex area of Minnesota, the FEIS omits much in detail.
Ground water in the Laurentian Divide frequently diverges from surface topography and therefore locations of recharge and discharge can be impossible to predict. Polymet’s probabilistic models cannot possibly be informed adequately to address the enormous danger of mining water, drawdowns, depressurization of artesians, and upwelling of brackish water to name only a few dangers posed by this project.
In the process of review, some of the most relevant information appears to be missing from the FEIS, or discounted, much of the obvious geological and hydrological evidence that would prove a no action alternative best for the environment and for the habitants upstream and downstream of the proposed mining project.
For instance, significant evidence on the fractured metamorphic nature of these lands, inferred and actual fractures and faults that have been named, the prospect of artesian springs, other faults and fractures in bedrock that may conduct water from the site, the potential that water inflows are much greater by many accounts have been given short shrift in deference to a computer model fed with data chosen, in particular, for this study. It all seems quite arbitrary, and these omissions are significant.
The area that includes Babbitt, Hoyt Lakes and the transportation corridor are covered with sand and gravel surficial aquifers, which run the possibility of overdevelopment in irrigated areas. This region also includes igneous and fractured metamorphic bedrock aquifers, where water can be found in cracks, joints and fractures within otherwise solid rock formations. Hoyt Lakes is a land of sand and gravel buried aquifers, which can be a major source of water (eg the Biwabik formation). Further down the St Louis River, in addition to sand and gravel surficial, and buried aquifers, igneous and fractured metamorphic bedrock aquifers, there are also sedimentary bedrock aquifers. Even though yields from these sedimentary cretaceous deposits are supposed to be low, the possibility that ground water discharges in lowlands from sand and gravel and fractured aquifers, also in the area, certainly exists.
Igneous and fractured metamorphic bedrock aquifers line the North Shore of Minnesota where there are over sixty water features in falls, rivers, and streams. The St Louis Watershed drains a basin of over 3500 square miles at the extreme headwaters of the St Lawrence Seaway. It appears that waters from glacial lakes, formed during the melt of the Laurentide Ice Sheet might still be discharging into Lake Superior as these waters work their way through the fractured bedrock aquifers of St Louis, Lake and Cook Counties. As noted, FEIS confirms that due to low permeability of the bedrock, discharge could take thousands of years… and so it seems that polluted waters could do the same. Polymet would be long gone before the consequences of copper mining could be fully assessed.
The FEIS avoids much discussion on differentiating major geologic areas, although Ely, Babbitt, Hoyt Lakes, Embarrass, the BWCAW and the whole of Giants Ridge are encompassed in a single one of these regions. The FEIS avoids in depth review of the existence of confined aquifers (extremely important in the security of the groundwater), avoids discussing in particular dissimilarities in surface composites and bedrock as relates to their conductivity and connectivity, specifics on the variability of depth to bedrock, inevitable flooding scenarios, weather anomalies, likely spills and exposures, drumlin fields, watershed anomalies (for instance, the fact that the tailings pond at the Minntac plant has outgrown what was once the boundary of the Vermilion Watershed, redrawn on maps to put it within the St Louis Watershed). Polymet’s NorthMet Project will increase the size of this tailings pond and so it is crucial to understand fully the hydrology of both surficial and bedrock aquifers directly underlying this tailings pond in particular.
Metamorphic rock is mentioned very little in the FEIS, as it fails to note that most of the Arrowhead is covered by fractured metamorphic rock, and in the area of the project, that sand and gravel surficial aquifers are prevalent as well, major omissions in outlining the geology of the area. Through these errors of omission, the probability of surficial and bedrock transport appears minimal at best. Is it possible to make a valid review of the project’s feasibility without details like this?
Of course, a model cannot take into consideration all of the factors in this extremely complex area of the North Met Project prospect, and so, I wonder, why experiential data from over 100 years of mining was not favored over probabilistic prognostications and limited field study prepared specifically for the NorthMet Project?
The Mississippi is now polluted; the St Louis River, and waters off the North Shore are imperiled. One hundred years is so little time in the course of a history like the Arrowhead, but much damage has already been done. What would be the result after 500 years of seepage from the degraded rotted and rusted infrastructure of a copper sulfide mine?
Studies that fail to use extensive fieldwork and data available from mining experience of the Mesabi Widjiu over the past one hundred years since the late 1890’s are likely to misrepresent the risks involved with a copper mine in the Arrowhead.
Just as the tailings pond at the Minntac plant site outgrew the boundary of the St Louis Watershed into the Vermilion Watershed, will the pits and ponds at the North Met mine site, so close to the northern boundary of the St Louis Watershed, outgrow its boundary as well, reaching into the watershed of Rainy River?
Indigenous peoples have lived in this area for thousands of years. They know the lands and waters of the area. They have honored this priceless parcel that is the Arrowhead of Minnesota and the Mesabi Widjiu. Perhaps unwisely, maybe without a choice, the tribes ceded this territory by treaty in the mid 1800’s. How shamelessly we have treated this land since that time. The quality of water has degraded, wetlands have suffered, the forests have been lumbered, and lands developed and damaged through mining activity and pollution.
If water seepage and inflow has not been predicted realistically for this study, then, the potential for harming watersheds of the St Louis River, Vermilion River and the Rainy River is great. Tribes inform the co-lead agencies that inflows are considerably higher than suggested by the EIS. How has related data from this observation informed the FEIS?
Due to the precedent that a copper mine in Babbitt will set, if granted, the potential for mining pits and tailings basins surrounding the area of the BWCAW watershed will be greatly increased.
Exploratory wells have been made well past the northern boundaries of the St Louis River Watershed, into the Rainy River Watershed, and on the boundary of the BWCAW. As a consequence, if the North Met project for a copper mine is granted, this will create the potential of a succession of mining pits and wells that move from the NE of Giants Ridge into the domain of the BWCA Wilderness. Consequently, the NorthMet Project prospect has the potential of affecting a larger area than the study proposes.
Elevated levels of arsenic can be found in the BWCAW along with brackish waters from exploratory wells. These details cannot be overlooked because it foretells the real possibility of pollution from Polymet’s mine pits traversing aquifers and connecting the St Louis Watershed to the Rainy River Watershed. The potential of surficial and bedrock connectivity from the mine site to this highly diverse geology of the BWCAW region through fluid and interconnected wilderness waterways, glacial moraine and diverse geology is relevant to the discussion.
Relying on probabilistic outcomes that narrow the view and minimize the prospect of pollution reaching downstream seems unrealistic. The potential of downstream contamination throughout the St Louis River Watershed should be given full consideration in any responsible environmental study concerning the prospect of a copper mine in this ecologically important area at the headwaters of the greatest body of freshwater on earth.
The St Louis River Watershed is composed of tilted bedrock planes that lean toward Lake Superior. Some of this can be seen in Jay Cook State Park, downstream from the prospect. The topography of the Laurentian Uplands and the swampy lowlands is diverse, including beds of wavy bedrock and washboard effects in areas like the Toimi Drumlin Field. The diversity of topography is as great as the diversity of flora and fauna. These areas are hardly flat.
Consider that the final drainage of the Laurentide Ice Sheet is said to have occurred around 8200 YBP and this caused sea levels to rise between 2.6 to 9.2 feet. Can the inevitable flow of local waters to the sea be discounted in a study that truly represents the risk of pollution from a copper mine?
Lake Superior is the product of glacial waters that flowed from the LIS and from glacial lakes that grew from the LIS melt. The St Louis River developed in the basin of Glacial Lake Upham. Relative to the age of this earth, the rivers in Minnesota are young, still cutting paths to the sea.
If downstream effects were given due merit, the facts would be clear that the entire Arrowhead of Minnesota would eventually suffer loss and damage from the operation of a copper mine in the Laurentian Uplands. No reassurance will carry the weight of facts before our eyes, the water we drink, and the air we breathe.
Please do not permit this land exchange to occur.
December 19, 2015 REVISION
Actions taken recently by the DNC to restrict access to the records of one candidate in deference to others, before all facts could be vetted, showed extreme… Read more “Replace the DNC Chair”
We, as the taxpaying citizens, cannot know how accurately the modeling was done for the SDEIS and the FEIS concerning the North Met Project because we are… Read more “What meaning does the phrase “long term” have in Polymet’s view?”
Any one who has traveled up the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River these days understands that the oil being transported along the river through small towns in bluff country (sometimes 100 trains each day) will eventually spill … whether it is from tracks that are overburdened, or in need of repair, or human failure. It is inevitable. And so it goes, a spill this week. One need only stand in a store as the trains thunder through town at 60 miles an hour, maybe two to four an hour during the day and you would not be surprised. This is a tragedy that can be circumvented, if we stop relying on fossil fuel and clean up our act. There are other things that once begun, can never be remedied.
On that note, the FEIS for the Polymet Mine proposal or, officially:
NorthMet Mining and Land Exchange Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS)
has come out this week and is available at:
I will be reviewing this paper over the never 30 days that we are allowed to review and comment considering these points:
- Why talk of who will clean up the environmental degradation from copper mining when, in fact, cleanup at this level would be impossible for anyone at any cost?
- Once the miners have left, what will remain of the wilderness and the waterways, the wildlife, the flora, among these, the wild rice?
- What will happen to the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area and the potential for a viable tourist industry?
- What of the wild and scenic rivers of the north and Lake Superior? the Saganagaw? the Rainy River?….
- Every mine leaves tailings ponds … like those in Silver Bay, along the Laurentian Divide and Giants Ridge, at Hull Rust Mine and others. What clean up is possible once begun? Pollution from these enterprises has already reached into the BWCA, down the Mississippi and into Lake Superior. With a coal plant in Silver Bay, the effects of acid rain can be seen along the North Shore from only half a century of operation. The effects of copper mining in water dense areas, in particular, have the potential of even more damage, damage that will reach into the lives of generations to come. No amount of money will pay for the loss.
- A copper mine will be mining, not only metals but, water … our most precious and most valuable commodity.
- Will copper trump our water resources, our wilderness, and our sanity?
The emotions will run high as they should. We have nothing to lose by sitting idly by without comment, but the very thing that makes our lives sustainable, literally.
Take a look at Mississippi River Bluff country in Perrot State Park, downstream from our mines. The water at this park is not safe to drink now. What more will we lose in the surrounding countryside from the pollution of a copper sulfide mine?
As Governor Dayton proposes funding for a study to determine Polymet’s finances at the present moment, I wonder how possible it would be to determine those finances into the distant future? Are there any reassurances possible that will predict this corporation’s ability or willingness to clean up the inevitable long term effects of copper mining pollution, into perpetuity? Shouldn’t we consider the already abundant information that promises otherwise?
Grateful that the Governor will be exploring other mines in other areas, I wonder, is there any other area quite like that proposed in St Louis County on the borders of the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area? Pollution from mining ore has already done harm in this ecologically fragile area, at the heart and head of three great rivers, and Lake Superior, along Giants Ridge and the Laurentian Divide, in the Arrowhead region of Minnesota.
Will we learn from our own experience and say no to any further degradation of an area so rich in natural beauty and a most essential commodity, water?
You will find several articles linked below concerning this area and the proposed copper mine::
The following photos were taken in parts of northern Minnesota, some in the UP of Michigan, Colorado Rockies, Alberta, Canada, and on a beach of the Pacific… Read more “Will we through our mining practices continue to degrade our most precious resource … water?”
Those who love know the courage it takes … that love is full of pain as well as joy, but they would not live without it. Love… Read more “What is love?”
With approval of a “fast track” to passing the so-called “trade” agreements (or more honestly, treaties … treaties that the public has not been allowed to review),… Read more “Balanced on a precipice …”
One of the best articles explaining the benefits to mining from our Minnesota Special Session in 2015 can be read at: http://www.virginiamn.com/news/local/range-wins-big-by-not-losing/article_2febff90-1238-11e5-b8d3-f368a5c79072.html No bias here… just statements… Read more “Elimination of the MPCA Citizen’s Board, MN and an arrangement to facilitate pollution of our water ….”
Opportunity The solutions to problems that confront our society are diverse and complex, requiring a deep and broad understanding. Education, above all, then, cannot be ignored… Read more “Education and the road to …”
April 25, 2015 Dear President Obama, Concerning the offshore oil leases and the leasing of public lands to the fossil fuel industry, my father was an engineer,… Read more “Leasing of Public Lands to the Fossil Fuel Industry … a letter to President Obama”
When did we turn the corner from protecting our old growth forests for all, to selling these masterpieces of creation for financial profit? These are public lands that… Read more “Proposed Clear Cutting in Klamath National Forest”
I have included photos of northern Minnesota and the Wisconsin and UP shorelines, with a link to my comments on the SDEIS and North Met’s proposed copper mine (submitted in 2014 with over 40,000… Read more “Mother of Waters”
It’s been a long time since I started painting and writing, now over 65 years. It has been and always will be a love. I do it for… Read more “What will the Trans-Pacific Partnership do for artists?”
The Watershed of the St Louis River, headwaters at Seven Beaver Lake in St Louis County east of Babbitt in the Arrowhead of Minnesota on the “Big… Read more “No Place for a Mine”
Act S.1 was passed by the US Senate. Debate over and voting on amendments will progress before sending the bill for signing to President Obama’s desk. Our elected officials need to know… Read more “Does enactment of the Keystone XL Pipeline Act make sense? Will any amendments make it right? Please ask President Obama to veto this legislation.”
Over the past several years, it has become clear to me that there is a great deal of misunderstanding concerning social security … a savings account made… Read more “The Truth About Social Security …”
… as U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell determines that delisting the wolf was a flawed decision; and has banned further hunting. An additional two hundred and seventy two wolves… Read more “Good news for the wolf …”
We should all be concerned about the killing of an unarmed man, Mike Brown, by the officer, Darren Wilson, sworn to “protect and defend”. We should also… Read more “on the subject of Mike Brown …”
In regard to Stonehenge, it is important for a bigger picture to consider the effect of farming cultures moving in to the British Isles, the sacrifices found at… Read more “Stonehenge Origins”
In the news again, the killing of another black man, a man without a gun, deprived of his life for what? Are there any words that can make this right? As we ponder the details in facts that are now being disputed, we should not lose sight of key elements in this latest shooting that are not. The killing of Michael Brown by a police officer, sworn to protect and defend, took the life of an unarmed man.
Concerning the grieving community and loss of this young man, have the Ferguson police acted in the interest of justice for all? Were family members given information needed at the occasion of their loss? Why was the police officer allowed to go free without booking? Were photos taken immediately of all parties, and key witness accounts documented at the scene of the crime? If this armed police officer felt threatened after he drove his car in front of the two young men, then why didn’t he call for back-up? What would have justified shooting Michael Brown over six times, killing him with a bullet through the top of his head, execution style? What is the history of this police officer prior to being sworn in? We are hearing information about the deceased man who cannot defend himself … why not more than hearsay about the officer who can defend himself?
An unarmed man is dead … shot to death by a police officer that stopped him because he was walking in the middle of the street. Other questions come to mind:
What prompted the use of deadly force on a young man who had surrendered with his arms in the air according to all witness accounts?
Why were photos not taken of all parties at the scene, at the time of the crime in order to protect the officer in a court of law, since Officer Wilson says he was attacked? Evidence produced untimely, cannot be taken without some pause as secondary to evidence at the scene and time of the crime.
Why were paramedics not allowed to attempt a resuscitation as this young man lay on the street for hours and with no examination for vital signs?
Many of the comments given in support of Darren Wilson seem to be prompted by fear, fear that has the effect of dehumanizing his victim, and associating Michael with the ”crime” of being black. Have we progressed so little that simply by having a different color of skin, de facto, a young man shall still have no right to justice in a country that has suffered this shame too long? Perhaps our history of treatment toward black men and women has finally come to a standstill and racist comments will finally be shown the door with all the shame due them.
Darren Wilson has a right to a fair trial … more than he gave Michael Brown; but he must go to trial for justice to be had; and there can be no justice for Michael Brown without it. One thing is for certain, justice can never be had at the point of a gun; and no words will make it right.