Politics in the Ointment

| August 21, 2008

Alaska Fly Fishing and Pebble Mine Project

We really don’t take political sides on this site. After all, I currently work in two atmospheres – the liberal-leaning arts, in photography, and in the oil field where things just lean. Anyone who knows me knows I will play edge-of-the-coin devil’s advocate to just about any issue or politician on any side. I enjoy the mental gymnastics too much to bring a closed mind to issues confronting the broader public consciousness.

With that, and in the political year of 2008 winding down, let me throw out the first pebble and see if it ripples.

We have all seen the No Pebble Mine stickers on our fly friend’s SUV’s and as for me, I have wondered what that was all about – never being so bold as to put a sticker on my car not knowing what it means. Just the words pebble and mine go a long way toward rallying sides of the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska. In Texas, if we want “pebbles”, we may take a bunch of big rocks and grind them into … little rocks, or “pebbles”. Apparently that is not the case in Alaska. Now the word “mine” has all the bad things one could possibly conjure going against it – not many people would want to be inside a mine, have one cave in on them, live near one, or be subject to its side effects. So the word “pebble” is a little more abstract, while the word “mine” brings a lot of baggage.

LET THE RESEARCH BEGIN

On the periphery, and at such a great distance from Alaska, it is easy to say it’s “not in my back yard” (NIMBY), and / or that’s too far away to really concern me or get involved with. The question that struck me today is, “What if? What if I wanted to fish in the area affected by this mine?” I don’t have my plane ticket, but realistically – I could get there some day, and what will be waiting when we step into a place that has been impacted by the mine?

First, a “pebble mine” is another name for a mine dedicated to the extraction of metals such as gold, copper and molybdenum according to the wikipedia entry under “pebble mine”. This is one topic that does not suffer from lack of internet coverage, so rather than detail the sites, here is a trailer for a video by Felt Soul Productions.

If you want to look past the video, have a look at The Trout Underground, maps of Bristol Bay, and a plethora of organizations including:
Alaskans For Clean Water
Save Bristol Bay
Bristol Bay Alliance
Stop Pebble Mine

Look. Read. Be informed.

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Category: Causes

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I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

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