Monday, June 17, 2013

Environmentalists are the 1 percent

This pretty well sums the situation up:
The question, however, comes down to which is more important, jobs for the blue-collar worker or preserving the environment. The environmentalists all say the same sort of thing, that mining companies cannot be trusted, that they will spoil this wonderful and beautiful area, and anyway there are jobs created by tourism.


What’s distressing in this debate is the extent to which the terms are set by the environmentalists. They say that mining companies cannot be trusted, and they don’t seem too interested in jobs for locals. The mining companies are accordingly forced to explain that their processes will not harm the environment, while the environmentalists do not seem as compelled to talk about the jobs that won’t be created. Maybe someday this will be reversed. After all, environmentalists engage in wild exaggerations and so cannot be trusted, and they have a history of not caring about jobs for poorer people.

As a former mayor of Ely put it, “It would be easy to conclude that this effort [by the environmentalists] is really the 1 percent trying to prevent the 99 percent from having a fair shot at a fair share.”
Yup.  And environmentalists are racist, too.  As Orwell might have said, their opposition to good paying blue collar jobs comes is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security.


Anonymous said...

I wish we could have serious pro/con discussions about these things as well. Freezing in the dark is not a long term solution to our problems. But once the politicians get involved it seems impossible for that to happen.

FWIW: This one isn't exactly a poster child for progress. I'm biased toward the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, but there are a lot of devils in a lot of local details here. It's not just digging a hole and pulling out the shiny, something the area is well known for and good at. "Mining" is something of a cover word. They're looking at new techniques where the failure mode is toxic leaching in an area with a highly interconnected water table, geology that doubles down on all the risks, and an established tourism industry that relies on the pristine nature of said waterways.

This deal, as you can imagine, also smells strongly of cronyism.

Do you risk killing an entire area's water supply and the current jobs built on it? For "mining" jobs that are significantly different than the mining jobs the area was known for a decade ago?

I don't know the answer. Like the original poster I wish we could talk about it like adults.

Paul, Dammit! said...

I wrote a rant about the difference between human ecological awareness Vs. environmentalism just last week... Touches on the same idea, where environmentalists are supremely uninterested in economics and consequently, supremely ineffective and self-interested at promoting horrible science.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

What aczarnowski said. I too am biased towards the BWCA - I was born in the hospital in Ely, Dad worked for the same Reserve Mining Company mentioned in the Star-Tribune article that prompted this discussion, and I learned to swim in the lake they want to set the mine up next to. That kind of mining in such a wet area is concerning by itself, and more so when it's the place you think of as "home".

If they're wrong about their ability to contain the toxic substances, the potential scale of the damage is terrifying.