This is a scary picture. Maybe it is the big bear that perturbs me. Maybe it is the crab. Would you decorate your house with such objects? I would not. But maybe we can decorate the nation’s capital thus? A change from Nancy Reagan’s new porcelain.
Maybe it tells you that the owner/decorator loves nature. But how can that be when she believes in creationism? Which makes me wonder how you can be a miner and a supporter of mining and not espouse science.
Keep in mind I was brought up on a mine and went to the local Anglican Church. Our priest was High Church and that means more bells & smells than any Roman Catholic service. He taught us in Sunday School that the only true church, in direct line from Jesus, is the Roman Catholic Church; and that, but for a little royal marital infidelity, we would be worshipping correctly in the Roman way, as Jesus intended. All his bells & smells were intended to achieve that, in spite of the royal temper tantrum.
Our priest had not a word to say on science or evolution. Keep in mind those were the old days before creationism was even invented. Our priest was from England, and he believed in the Bible and the Afrikaaners’ conclusion that the Bible said Blacks were the hewers of wood and carriers of water, and thus should not be let into the Church via the front door. I even had to escort our servants through the back door of the church to attend my father’s funeral. My mother denouned me when I kept paying tithe to the church after Biship Tutu took over.
Thus when I got to Tucson I was intrigued and astounded to meet Stan Miller. He was a rock mechanic engineer with Pincock Allen and Holt. If the web serves me right, he is now a professor of mining in Idaho. A personable young man he was then, and intelligent. But he was a firm believer in the conclusion that in accordance with the Bible and all those begats, the earth was created but a few thousand years ago, and all the glorious geology we see was laid down in Noah’s flood.
I once asked him how, as a geologist and rock mechanics engineer, he could write reports that described a varying age geology. Keep in mind, the rock properties that determine the stability of the slope of an open pit may be a function of the age of the rock and what has happened to it since it became rock. I cannot recall his precise answer, but it went something along the lines that there was no harm in repeating the stories of the deluded un-religious masses, if that is what made them happy and got the bills paid. And at any rate, the truth that the rocks all got laid down in the flood and the fact that the rest of his profession thought they were older did not affect his conclusions about the factor of safety of the slope.
Let us hope that Palin is at least as intelligent as Stan. And let us hope that her unscientific beliefs are as little detrimental to mining as Stan’s.
Below I repeat an extract of one of her statements about the Pebble Mine. In it she does promise to “empower…state…scientists.” to examine resource development. Let us hope she truly does empower scientists and not treat them as she has some others who have not concurred with her. Or as the current administration has dealt with unruly scientists in general.
From Mountain Sage: this statement by Sarah Palin.
As part of a Bristol Bay fishing family myself, I would not support any resource development that would endanger the most sensitive and productive fishery in the world.
The State of Alaska has stringent laws and regulations already in place to prevent environmental problems. As Governor, I will empower our state regulators, oversight officers, and scientists to do their jobs in all areas of resource development. I promise all Alaskans my administration will enforce the laws to the letter and insure protection of our fishing and environmental resources so they will not be compromised or endangered by development.
The Pebble Mine is a lightening rod for any discussion of open pit mining. The Pebble management firm, Northern Dynasty Mines, Inc., has not yet submitted a plan for public review and comment so the specific impacts are unknown. From completion of exploration to development could take 10 years or better because of permitting issues, public hearings, and lawsuits. Northern Dynasty has a legal right to complete its studies and submit applications before the state judges the costs and benefits of the project.