Posts tagged ‘pollution’

April 19, 2017

What harm could mining do in the watershed of the BWCA and headwaters of the Mississippi River?

In light of the ongoing process to permit the Polymet to mine copper in Babbitt with a processing center in Hoyt Lakes, I am reposting my article first published in November, 2012:

A view of Northern Minnesota as the battle rages for copper, sulfide mining near the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area.


September 22, 2012

Would we listen to Leonardo today?

In the words of Leonardo da Vinci:

On Metals – “There will issue from dark, gloomy caves something which will bring great sorrow, danger, and death on the whole human race; to many of those who seek it, it will after much suffering bring delight; but those who do not share in it will die in want and in distress.  It will engender unending treason; it will drive unhappy men to commit more murders, thefts, and acts of oppression; it will breed suspicion among those who seek it; it will destroy the freedom of free cities; it will take the lives of many; it will sow among men much fraud, deceit, and treason. 

O monstrous creature, it would be better for men if you returned to hell!  On account of you great forests are robbed of their trees and countless animals are robbed of their lives.”

On Man’s cruelty – “There will be seen on the earth animals which constantly fight among themselves, inflicting great harm and frequently death on each other.  Their enmity will know no bounds; their savage members will fell a great part of the trees in the vast forests of the world; and after they gorge themselves, they will continue to feed on their desire to inflict death and suffering and sorrow and fear and flight on all living creatures.  Through their measureless pride they will seek to raise themselves to heaven, but the excessive weight of their members will hold them fast to the earth.  Nothing will remain on the earth or under the earth and water that is not pursued, chased down, or destroyed; and it will be chased from country to country.  Their bodies will be the grave and passageway of all the living bodies which they have killed.

O world, why do you not open and hurl into the deep clefts of your abysses and caverns and no longer show to heaven such cruel and heartless monsters?”

Both quotes by Leonardo da Vinci are from Codex Atlanticus, codex in the Ambrosiana Library in Milan.  Published in eight folio volumes by Ulrico Hoepli, Milan for the Reale Accademia dei Lincei 1894-1904 and translated by Wade Baskins in his book, The Wisdom of Leonardo, pages 77-79.

April 15, 2012

Concerning the “greater good” and fracking …

These questions beg to be asked: 
How is it that any chemicals, endangering public health are allowed near any public water source, no matter what their purpose?
How has approval been given for these operations before substantive information has been gleaned concerning the longterm effects of fracking and essential precautions taken?
Once begun and the damage done, what choices will we have?  Why not prevention?
What amount of compensation would return our water, our air, our environment to its original state?
Who pays the unltimate cost?
How have our rights to clean air, water, food, a life-sustaining environment been given to entities that stand to profit from extraction at any cost?
Have we given up our rights by default?  Do we, in making our choices, consider the longterm effects of those choices?  Are our decisions informed by facts and founded on experience?  If not, are we willing to make the necessary changes?
According to EarthJustice, “in 2005, Congress included the so-called “Halliburton Loophole” in an energy bill. This provision exempting hydraulic fracturing from key provisions of the Safe Water Drinking Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act. Since that time, there has been only so much that locals, environmentalists, and public health advocates can accomplish regarding fracking regulation. Earthjustice has seen some success recently in chemical disclosure and local jurisdiction, however we do need new legislation to address this matter. One simple thing you can do is to ask your Member of Congress to cosponsor the FRAC and BREATHE Acts: “
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