Two dumb headlines from the weekend. Both about mining. Both illustrate how respectable mining and political groups twist the truth to their advantage, and whitewash their acts with misleading verbiage. In this case I propose the biggest sinner is the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum. In this instance they manage to be more dishonest than even the Alaskans fighting to stop the Pebble Mine, and that is saying a lot. Let me explain.
From the CIM Magazine come the headline: Mining’s Sustainable Future: innovative technologies, environmental stewardship, social responsibility.
Keep in mind that a few weeks ago a British court decide that sustainable in the context of mining is so ambiguous as to be meaningless. Pity the poor CIM for this ill-timed headline. This issue of the CIM Magazine truly reinforces the silliness of the term sustainable in the context of mining. I recommend the August issue of the CIM magazine if you want to see how a single word can be stretched and contorted out of all reality in the interests of whitewashing a concept. Just two examples of irrelevant use of the word sustainable in the magazine:
- The article under the heading “a sustainable future” begins something like: mining can be a risky business, what with operational risks, spills, and tailings dam failures.
- The article entitled “steering a course to sustainability” starts by telling us of AID treatment of Anglo American’s miners.
It is obvious the editor of the CIM Magazine knew she was committing verbal fraud when she allowed this silly headline. In her editorial she says: “Sustainability. It’s a word that encompasses virtually everything we do. However it’s a word some people feel is over-used…Whether you call it sustainability, stewardship, or responsibility…..” Shame on her for going along with this verbal lie, this verbal propaganda, for once again showing that mining cannot bear to talk straight and face the truth.
Now let me tell you why I think this shameless verbal whitewashing by CIM is worse than the lies told by those fighting the Pebble Mine in Alaska.
From Digitaljournal.com come the second misleading headline of the weekend Obama Favors Pebble Mine In Alaska Building Earthquake-Proof Dams.
The associated story has nothing to do with earthquake-proof dams at the Pebble Mine. I suspect Obama would not even know what an earthquake-proof dam is. Fact is, nor do I. Fact is, there is no such thing. This is just another example of naive journalism dressed up to impress. For those not in the know: big dams subject to earthquakes shake and deform a lot in the kind of earthquakes you can expect up near Bristol Bay. No matter what Knight Piesold does, there is a probability the dams will deform—whether they spill is another issue.
Seems the story of the headline is that Obama has given his support to the mayor of Anchorage who opposes Ballot Measure 4 (which in essence is anti-Pebble). In return the Republican mayor is off to Denver to cheer for Obama. At least that is how i read the story. I may be wrong, but in the murky world of Alaskan politics, this could well be true.
On the dirty politics of Alaska, Ballot Measure 4, and mini Anchorage Daily News tells of the dirty politics of Ballot Measure 4:
NANA currently operates the Red Dog Mine in Northwest Alaska with its partner Teck Cominco. In 2007 mining revenues topped $58 million dollars. Sixty-two percent of NANA’s profits were distributed to other Native corporations, as provided by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. The mine currently employees 465 people with an annual payroll of $48 million. Almost 56 percent of those employees are NANA shareholders, from a region beset with high unemployment and few good job opportunities. Ballot Measure 4 puts this all at risk. According to Rosie Barr, NANA’s resources manager, the battle took an unpleasant turn when proponents of Ballot Measure 4 sent emissaries to Vancouver to meet with Teck-Cominco executives. Their message was simple — join us in opposing Pebble Mine or we will come after you. Then, Barr said, the proponents went directly to NANA, and said if the corporation didn’t support the initiative they would attack the Red Dog mine. Finally, those same proponents came back once more and promised if NANA would back off, they’d have lawmakers grant them an exemption for the Red Dog mine.