The world looks different from different places. I am in Huntington Beach, California where it is raining harder and longer than ever seen in Vancouver. They are amazingly optimistic here. The couple who entertained us last night have just completed a $200,000 renovation to the house they bought 20 years ago for about the same amount. Being near the beach, the house is still worth a lot more than the renovation cost. He is a consultant to the US mining industry and believes there is lots of work to be had.
The geologist, engaged on a two-year study of tunnels from the Inland Empire to the Beach Cities, is more concerned about disposal of the 20 million cubic yards of acid-drainage-producing waste the tunnels will create than in the economy. He asked me: How would a miner get rid of that volume of tailings in California?
As always, the consensus from the assembled PhDs was that it is all the fault of the education system that does not turn out educated PhDs. The Republicans blame Obama. The Democrats blame Bush. But nobody was willing to work harder or consume less. We are Californians in Orange County, one haughty lady reminded me with a sneer.
So to add to the sense of an unreal weekend, here are links to some stories that emphasize just how bad the education system is (everywhere!):
Tehran Times: The Iranian representative at the fourth session of UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review Working Group criticized Canada for violating the rights of Muslims and other minorities in the country.
Telegraph, UK: a survey of 2,000 people conducted by Theos, the religion think tank, found that half believe the theory of evolution cannot explain the complexity of the natural world. One in three said they thought God created the Earth within the past 10,000 years. Two-thirds of Republics do not believe in evolution.
Chronicle Herald: It will take 40 years and half a billion dollars to prepare an abandoned Yukon mine for closure, the director of the territory’s branch for abandoned mines said in announcing the final option to deal with the site. Stephen Mead said Friday that there’s still more work to be done on the Faro mine project before construction begins in four to five years. Federal taxpayers have spent tens of millions of dollars in the last decade looking after the mine and planning for its closure. Mead said it will cost about $30 million a year for the 15-year construction phase, and another $10 million a year for the next 25 years. From there, the site would have to be monitored forever, he said.
Salt Lake City, Deseret News: UtahAmerican Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Murray Energy, has asked a federal judge to overturn an MSHA citation requiring the company to change its roof-control plan before long-wall mining can resume again in a section of the West Ridge Mine in Carbon County. The company is also challenging an MSHA order that barrier pillars of coal be left to provide support to the mine ceiling and guard against “bounces” or “bumps” — outbursts of coal that happen when the ground shifts after the coal seam is ground away by the long-wall mining machine. “We want to make sure the operator has a plan in place to protect (miners) from the hazards of these bounces,” said Kevin Stricklin, who heads MSHA’s coal division.
It’s almost enough to induce you to deny evolution and become a commited Muslim Mormon. Enoy the rest of Sunday, a day of sublime unreality.