Two ladies suited up to go uranium mining in East Germany. And from the AME BC, a news release worthy of comment:
British Columbia’s mineral exploration sector is seeking clarification regarding a provincial government announcement that it will not support the exploration and development of uranium in British Columbia. Safe, environmentally sound uranium exploration is ongoing in six provinces and three territories by well-respected, professionally managed companies. All uranium mining and mine development in Canada is highly regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Canada is the world’s largest uranium producer, and is responsible for approximately 30% of the world’s total uranium production.
“Uranium mining is one of the most regulated industries in the world,” noted Jepsen. “All uranium production in Canada currently occurs in Saskatchewan, which is a world leader in the health and safety of miners. Uranium is a key solution in the greening of energy, and is increasingly seen as one of the only robust and sustainable solutions in the greening of global energy production,” said Jepsen. “Hydroelectric and nuclear power are the only current large-scale energy sources that generate minimal carbon dioxide emissions.” “The global investment community will be monitoring the BC government’s position on uranium closely,” said Jepsen. “We are disappointed that the government had not consulted our industry more in developing this policy. We are eagerly waiting to meet with senior government personnel to address the concerns of the mineral exploration industry to best provide certainty for the investment community and communities that depend on our sector.”
One must pity the politician faced with making a decision about uranium mining. But politicians seek their privileged positions knowing that their true purpose is to lead society and address difficult issues. So we have a right to expect them to lead and decide, but only after canvassing and evaluating opposing opinions on contentious issues.
Right now the mining boom is testing the mettle of politicians, including:the U.S Congress deliberating on reform of the 1872 Mining Law; Arizona and New Mexico and the Navajo on uranium mining on Indian territory; Colorado with a slew of UMTRA sites and proposed new in situ uranium mining; Ontario and Marxists and Aboriginal protest.
Yesterday’s BC ban on even exploring for uranium brought sighs of relief from Quebec of all places:
In a surprise move yesterday, the Government of British Columbia announced a complete ban on uranium and thorium exploration and mining in the province. This move reinforces a long-standing unofficial ban that was in place after an earlier seven year moratorium on exploring for uranium expired in 1987. That ban was put in place primarily due to the concerns for public health expressed by the British Columbia Medical Association. BC’s ban brings fresh hope to those in West Quebec who would like to see a similar ban here. It shows there is a current precedence for banning the exploration and mining of this toxic substance. It joins the enlightened uranium-free ranks of Nova Scotia and the Nunatsiavut (Inuit Lands) in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Long ago I read the proceedings of the deliberations leading up to the BC ban on uranium. Long on emotion, short on science. And even shorter on economic common sense.
One way to look at this continuing BC ban is that it is a boon to Sasketchewan: if only they could get Cigar Lake operational.
Another is to take the attitude that while it would be good to have uranium mines wherever there is uranium: kind of like growing food wherever food can be grown, it does not make sense to go around proliferating mines with short lives and fast-turn arounds. Better maybe to focus on top-grade places already deep into mining and its impacts, benefits, and consequences.
The BC ban on even seeking uranium, however, raises many fundamental issues about what constitutes a free society as compared to a socialistic society, as compared to a controlled society run for the benefit of a few powerful & privileged groups, whether they be priests, politicians, doctors, nobles, co-specific tribe members, or robber barons.
Let’s face it BC is not a free society: try buying beer, wine, or spirits cost-effectively or with dignity. That is impossible for you are forced to grungy government controlled outlets staffed by surly sours and surrounded by the begging homeless. Try buying competitive car insurance and you get told that is not the way it is. Get sick and try to jump a medical queue.
Fact is that I love Vancouver: it is beautiful and vibrant, but I do not fool myself that I am free of the tyrrany of the socialist who knows what is good for me, and makes damn sure I know and obey. This ban on uranium exploration and the undeliberated haste with which it was imposed is but a pale reflection of a society tightly controlled by people who believe you cannot have freedom to sell or purchase liquor or offer and engage doctors at your discretion. This act is the natural outcome of a small society struggling to survive in a harsh place where small groups of vociferous people impose their ideas ad lib. This approach may work and even be beneficial in a small homogeneous society facing a harsh environment. But BC has grown, is growing, and is becoming more heterogeneous. It should also move to greater personal freedom and consultative and deliberative government.
We applaud the AME BC in their stand, but until they and BC as a whole tackles the greater issue of how and for whom society here is organized, I suspect they are doomed to cry in the wilderness. And loose their kids to Alberta and Saskatchewan. Or fire their pandering politicians and elect a clean slate of new ones.
Fact is that uranium is, in my opinion, the only clean way to generate the energy we need for our lifestyle and avoidance of global warming. Maybe there is enough in Saskatchewan and awaiting reprocessign in the pools of the US Nuclear Powerplants. Maybe we will just have to wait the time the lights go dim before we get free license to find uranium and buy cheap beer.