Let us turn our gaze from the political conventions in the USA to Africa. If you can keep your eyes off those $300,000 diamond studs that Cindy McCain is wearing. Now that is a triumph for mining.
First, however, let me say how moved I was by Gov. Palin’s address last night. On the basis of my past writings, you can decide the direction in which I was moved. But she is a riveting speaker, clearly tough, and blessed with a varied family. Keep in mind I too have a son in the Navy who has floated around the trouble spots for a long time and now is now at the Pentagon, one wayward daughter who is soon to start studying to be a Civil Engineer, one incredibly successful geotechnical engineer daughter. Plus nine grand kids, six of whom are in Iowa. As they say, variety is the spice of life.
I recveived word that ICMM has published their Good Practice Guidance on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. I e-mailed back that I would write about it when the time seemed right. So now I do. I read the first part and skimmed the rest. It is utterly depressing reading. I wish you a good life that involves no need to ever read this volume or deal with the issues it addresses.
I can understand why ICMM puts out this stuff. There is an obvious need for it. Certainly if you are going to go mining in Africa. And you need to keep the local work force healthy enough to work and mine.
Personally I left Africa in disgust twenty and more years ago, have never desired to return, and generally avoid bothering about the ongoing, self-made problems of the continent.
Not that HIV/AIDS in restricted to Africa. It could occur in Alaska for all I know. It certainly occurs elsewhere in the United States. Personally I am all for family values, including gay marriage as a way to deal with the scourge. And if societies that profess to care for family values and human compassion choose to be hypocritical and suppress information about sex etc. then indeed implementation of the ICMM guide is a valid mining charge.
Let us hope there is no, or very little, need for the ICMM guide in North America any time soon. Although I doubt it, given the current scary drive to supress information, supress family formation, and deal with the results via bluster, haircuts, and new clothes. At least the mining industry is, in this instance, ahead of the mainstream politicians. We should be proud of this and support the ongoing efforts of the ICMM to keep us there.