As long as you have not been living in a hole in the ground you should be well aware of the anti-sulfide debate and the arguments being used by the clueless hippies against the development of the copper-nickel resources that are present in northern Minnesota.
I have an idea, lets look at the effects that will be caused by not developing these resources.
The first effect is that the region is kept in its economic stasis for another generation. Although this is great for rich tourists from the Twin City area who want to buy cheap land to build cabins it is not good for the people that actually live here and are attempting to raise families.
But Jeffy, what about all of the tourist dollars that come into the area?
Oh, yeah, the tourist money that comes into the area 3 months out of the year… What about the other 9 months of the year where we still have to be able to feed ourselves.
The second effect is that if we do not get resources here we have to get them someplace else.
On the surface of it this does not look that bad, I mean what could possibly be wrong with getting resources from other places?
Let us look at what happens to these other places.
In the United States we have laws and environmental protections that regulate how a mine is operated, the safety of the workers, and the financial payments and taxes that go to the surrounding area.
In large portions of the rest of the world they have no laws, barely any government, and basically a libertarian paradise. Which sounds wonderful, right? Well the end result is that you have warlords in Africa out killing people to control the bribes that they are getting from the mining companies. This is not that the mining companies are bribing them to try to benefit the mines, they are bribing them to not have their employees murdered and their equipment stolen.
The government barely benefits as they have no means of control.
The environment is stripped and there are little if any efforts to avoid wholesale pollution on epic and dastardly scales.
In Russia there is so much heavy metal pollution downwind of one of the major smelters for nickel that the topsoil can now be economically mined in its own right.
China has no qualms about strip mining the whole of Africa in an attempt to obtain resources, and they also don’t have much in the way of concern about pollution.
So, we would still be able to get the materials that we need but instead of taking the risk that some wild rice could possibly be harmed, although the evidence is rather weak on that subject, and we may displace some summer cabins we are wholesale destroying entire continents.
And this is why I refer to them as clueless hippies.
They fail to see the bigger picture of what they are doing.
And in case your wondering, the above picture is what it takes to make the screen your looking at this on when you have to source the materials from a third world country.