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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Pebble Mine Would Wreck Wetlands

Pebble Mine Would Wreck Wetlands

Author: Reilly Capps/Friday, January 17, 2014/Categories: wildlife conservation

By Reilly Capps 

The Earth is not really made of earth. Not rocks, water and trees -- despite its appearance. It's mostly metal: iron, silicon and magnesium. If you strip away the crust, you're left with is a sphere nearly as metallic as the Death Star. 

This proves useful to mankind, allowing the creation of both the metal plate in your cousin Eddie's head and the aluminum beer cans he crushes against it.  

Getting to those metals has always been fraught, due to the slight tendency of metal mining to wreck the non-metal parts of the planet. 

The biggest mine currently proposed is the Pebble Mine in Alaska. The deposit of copper and gold and other minerals might be worth $300 billion. 

An EPA report released this week makes it seem less likely that the Pebble Mine will go ahead. The mine could ruin 43 miles of stream and 6,700 acres of wetland, the report said

Mining would certainly means less fish, which is bad for everything that eats the fish, from bears to Natives to sushi-lovers on Seattle. There are also grand possibilities for water contamination. 

Beyond the bare cost-benefit analysis (is it worth killing a few thousand or million fish and maybe wrecking a few lives and/or livelihoods to get $300 billion worth of metals?) is the emotional debate over the mine. This part of the world is ineffably beautiful, a beauty captured in a remarkable movie called "Red Gold," by Felt Soul Media (who are friends of mine). And it's home to 25 Native American tribes, whose livelihoods would be affected. 

Jewelers have pledged not to buy gold from the mine. Locals have protested. With this EPA report, those who oppose the mine will certainly have more ammunition in their fight to keep these particular metals in the ground. 


Red Gold | trailer from FELT SOUL MEDIA on Vimeo.

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