Curtis Dahlgren
June 13, 2012
re "NATURAL" resources: An open letter on mining (part 1)
By Curtis Dahlgren

DEAR AMERICAN: After centuries of mining in America, mining is becoming "controversial" in northern Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan. However, mining opponents should not assume that they are necessarily a "majority." Scott Walker is pro-mining and the recall Walker "movement" flopped like a beached constipated whale.

Both the opponents and proponents of mining love the North Woods, but the proponents love it so much that they'd like to see their kids get a chance to stay here. A job would be nice and helpful in that regard.

Some people are afraid of "outsiders" and some resent any "foreign" companies doing business here — if you can really call Canada foreign (lots of Yoopers have family roots in Canada).

By the way, America has a terrible foreign trade deficit, while Canada has a trade surplus! That's because we buy a billion dollars worth of foreign oil every day, while Canadians sell oil and many other natural resources — instead of turning up their noses at them the way too many Americans do (Canada may sell oil to China if we don't want it).

Gold in the Upper Peninsula is a resource that is both abundant and "naturally occuring." Opponents spend big bucks to "muddy the waters" with terms such as sulfide or cyanide. That sounds scary to people without a degree in chemistry, and even water itself can scare some people if you call it "di-hydrogen monoxide."

Sulfide is just one type of ore, and cyanide is used in road salt. Ghastly, there's even cyanide in coffee, almonds, and table salt. But it is NOT used in "heap leaching" in Michigan mines, despite erroneous statements to the contrary (Menominee County Journal, April 28, 2011). No amount of false advertising will ever get all of one's credibility back.

In the Green Bay Press-Gazette ("Mine opponents have little in common"), Mike Nichols wrote:

"It would be unfair to call all concerns whining [but] . . many of the opponents, oddly, seem to think time matters not at all [in mining] . . . [and maybe] it's because — unlike folks who have been a little poor for a little too long — they appeared to have one thing in common at the hearing in West Allis the other day:

"They already have jobs." [December 18, 2011]

The USA TODAY published an interesting article (4/25/12) about the prospects of future mining of asteroids for platinum and other precious minerals. I've heard that some environmentalists are already opposing it. Their reason? Probably NIMBY (not in my back yard).

Some of those enviro mental-wackos are "way out there," you know. They would have even tried to stop King Solomon's mines. They would have gone east in the days of the forty-niners. They would have cancelled the Alaskan Purchase. Like scorpions, it's just what they do.

© Curtis Dahlgren

 

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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)

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