Flaccid Ph.D. Bonner
I wanted to just dive into a critical raving post about how Ph.D Bonner Cohen is a limp piece of flesh filling in for someone who gives a shit about the environment and people.
I was on the crest of just punching each letter into my keyboard noting that Dr. Cohen conflates economic interests and benefits in any natural extraction proposal with actually being an objective environmental commentator on the effect that hydraulic fracturing or open pit mines may have on the environment – totally disregarding any possible negative effect that these kinds of activities may pose.
Before my level headedness prevailed, I wanted to highlight Cohen’s Jan. 2013 “The EPA’s Pebble Mine Assessment Puts Politics Above Sound Science,” article as a giant pile of steaming horse shit that would be difficult to produce even if you force fed an American Cream Draft horse cheese puffs and 2 six packs of Alaskan stout for its birthday.
Then there was the urge to point out that Dr. Cohen’s article lacks any real substance whatsoever in challenging the very basis of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2012 Draft or 2014 Final Report “An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska.”
Dr. Cohen seems to think that the EPA’s analysis is premature and ridiculous. He bases this argument on the fact that the EPA informed their study on educated guesses on possible mining scenarios that had not been formally announced by the folks of the Pebble Partnership.
It seems that Dr. Cohen would have preferred if the EPA would have held off until Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., formally announced how it was planning on making one open pit mine 2-3 miles wide and thousands of feet deep that would require the construction of earthen dams to be constructed to hold in perpetuity (that means forever) tailings and water laden with what essentially is battery acid.
Let me just repeat that. Open pit mines of this sort produce an extraordinary amount of waste rock and minerals. When those minerals are exposed to oxygen and water, which they undoubtably will, the chemical reaction and result is essentially creating huge quantities of water that is highly acidic. These waste water acidic vats of waste water must be held forever behind dam walls to prevent seepage and possible pollution to any aquifer or drainage nearby. FOREVER.
Once again: battery acid held behind a man made dam that is to be maintained forever, in perpetuity, endlessly, day in and day out or until hell freezes over. Now, there is the other fact that the nearby aquifers and drainages near the Pebble Mine project are home to the most productive and abundant salmon habits known to man.
Sadly, Dr. Cohen’s little rant about the EPA jumping the gun gives no indication that the mining corporations involved have come up with some kind of super duper fucking awesome plan to indicate some kind of new mining process which magio-fantastically [sic] lessens the risks associated with a mining venture of this sort.
No, instead Dr. Flaccid Dick points out that these other group of scientists (all criticisms followed up by the EPA, by the way) have reservations about the exact determinations that the EPA had concluded upon with their hypothetical mining scenarios. Dr. Cohen, however, gives no other basis to adjudicate the possible effects that an open pit mine of this sort may pose.
Instead, Dr. Cohen in his Pebble mine arguments and coverage on presumably every extraction related natural resource project, removes any risks or detrimental effects and focuses almost entirely on the positive economic factors for resource extraction. This makes Dr. Cohen, Mr. Cohen, or what I would like to term “Dr. Corporate Bitch”.
But, like I said, I’m not going to go there. I’ll keep it civil.
Pebble Mine: Keeping it Civil
Unlike Dr. Corporate Bitch, I posses the ability to recognize more than one side in discussion. The potential short term and long term economic and possible social benefits from permitting and going ahead with the Pebble Mine are apparent.
Local residents have opportunities for more than 2,000 jobs that will be created during the construction phase of the mine and its infrastructure (i.e. road access, electrical facilities and employee housing).
There are also probably more than 1,000 jobs that will be created in more or less the long term for the regular operations of the mine. Then there are the more unquantifiable job creation opportunities that will be created when more of the Bristol Bay region is opened up to mining resource extraction – made easier by opening up the Pebble Mine project.
Job creation is more than money to spend on beer and toys for the kids. It offers up opportunities to broaden tax bases, improve local infrastructure, education, and health care. Jobs mean more stable lives and a more stable economy for individuals and communities of the region – facts that should not be overlooked.
Beyond the local, the Pebble mine project will contribute towards a more plentiful supply of copper, gold and Molybdenumn (an element largely employed to alloy steel), potentially making our computers cheaper, our gold watches more plentiful and our Molybdenum steel alloy tanks more affordable.
However, we must weigh these potential benefits (and others I’ve not highlighted here) with the potential risks. The Pebble Partnership could present me with the most high tech gizmo mining dildo apparatus of the 21st century ensuring that no harm will be brought to salmon habitat and the surrounding ecosystem and I still would be skeptical.
This is a man made venture with potential risks that could endanger a resource that employes and feeds thousands if not millions of people each year. If we manage it right, this could go on for centuries. That sounds more rational to me than maintaining a lake of battery acid till the end of time.
That’s about as civil as I can get.