Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I consider myself an environmentalist. I'm not necessarily a good environmentalist--I rarely recycle, I don't drive a green car, I probably contribute as much trash to the landfill as anyone else--but I was raised in a rural area and I developed an appreciation for nature at an early age. Blame the Boyscouts of America for all those camping trips I went on.

I just ran across a verified true story on Snopes that is really sickening. Basically, a multinational company is wanting to drill in an area of Chile where a glacier now sits for a large deposit of gold. It will devestate the environment there, line the pockets of the shareholders who couldn't care less about the people of Chile, and leave the local people with a bunch of contaminated lakes and streams. Here is a link to the Pascua-Lama story.

The history of mining is littered with stories of contamination. Here in the Tulsa area a few years ago, the Tar Creek Superfund site was born. It brought a lot of heavy minerals like lead and zinc to the surface. It is now causing health problems for the people that live in the area, especially the children who are more susceptible to the metals. The site has been shutdown for years, but it wasn't cleaned up. The people of the area have been petitioning the government for years to buy them out so they can relocate to safer environments. It's looking like they will finally get their wish.

The people of Pascua-Lama will not be so lucky if Barrick Gold has it's way. And it will be hard for them to put up a legal/political fight against a conglomerate with deep pockets.

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