Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Politics, Fine Food, Salmon, Copper Mining

John Prine "Paradise" (click and play while you read)

Gourmet Magazine Weighs In On Sarah Palin

The outrage is, as usual, at the expected levels. The first commenter is a troll.

A couple of excerpts, but please, go read the whole thing.

The law in Alaska forbids a governor from officially lobbying for or against a ballot initiative such as Ballot Measure 4. To get around the law, Palin exercised what she called “personal privilege” when she said to reporters, “Let me take my governor’s hat off for just a minute here and tell you, personally, Prop 4—I vote no on that.”

See that? She knows the law, she states that she knows the law, but by claiming "personal priviledge" the law magically doesn't apply anymore. That reminds me of the assholes on the playground who would always call "king's X" just as you were about to tag them. You'd think people would have had enough of this blatant breaking and ignoring of our laws by the very folks who are supposed to defend them.

Do the calculations yourself. On one hand, you have an industry (mining) that employs 5,500 people in your state and generates $200 million in tax revenues. It is based on a finite resource that will run out one day. On the other hand, you have an industry (salmon fishing in Bristol Bay alone) that employs 12,000 people and contributes $250 million to the economy. This industry is based on a sustainably managed renewable resource that will be around long after the last ton of ore is dug out of Pebble Mine. Which would you favor?

I've seen the devastation that irresponsible copper mining can produce. Copper itself is some pretty toxic stuff. Ask the artists who used it for pigmentation, ask the pre-Bronze Age metalsmiths who died of arsenic poisoning by smelting copper and breathing at the same time. Southeastern Arizona contains the devastated remains of "open pit" mining. What is open pit mining you ask? It's exactly that. You dig a huge ass hole in the ground. Drive your huge ass equipment in, blast, haul and crush every single piece of earth, dirt, rock, and smidgens of ore down to a fine dust. Then you leach it with cyanide. That's right, cyanide. It turns the water you use for leaching into a brilliant deep blue. Birds can be attracted by the bright inviting color, a mere overflight will kill them.

When you're done with all that, you simply drive away. The earth never heals from that treatment. Never.

Sarah Palin, disregarded clear law to support the toxic and permanently polluting interests of the copper miners over the largest and most productive wild salmon fishery in the world.

Environmentalist? Not in my book.

(hat tip to Tata and Ms. Sasha for the Gourmet link)