Response to CMA article: Rumours, Rumblings & Rock Hard Resistance
[Thulefoth, a member of the Pre-loved Placer Forums, has replied to the article below which was posted on the Pre-loved Placers Forum. I am posting it here on the CMA site as I feel it has relevance to the ongoing discussions that took place during the meeting held with MLA Bob Simpson. Webmin]
Re: Rumours, Rumblings & Rock Hard Resistance
Reply #1 on: March 18, 2011, 06:13:40 PM from “Thulefoth”:
Quote from: ArthurTopham on March 16, 2011, 12:06:05 PM
“… the general public perceives placer mining as an environmental threat and associates the behaviour and actions of small, independent miners with that of the big hard rock mining consortiums who tend to always capture the media’s attention with their giant projects that inevitably raise public concerns about environmental damage.”
Well, sure, once someone internalizes that what small miners do in the creeks constitutes an offence from certain philosophical viewpoints, then opponents will try to tar them with any other brush that’s handy. People who oppose the activities of small miners, then seek to link them to other actors who are suppose to be bad, too (corporate mining) … whether there is really any relationship or not.
On the one hand, California just ‘suspended’ all dredging. Other West Coast states have already gone through the dredging re-evaluation process, though, and it seems likely that California will align with their Ecologically informed rules, and reinstate dredging within not-too-long.
But on the other hand, events & trends in the USA are not going favorably for Enviro Activism. Long called a ‘Silent Majority’, important components of the vaguely small-c conservative population have been wrenching the US political scene in unusual ways.
Anthropogenic Global Warming reliably ranks Dead Last in a list of a couple dozen Issues that folks are polled on. Al Gore is a crazed sex poodle. Science has been reduced to consensus.
The Baby Boomers are aging. Wealth is fleeing. Security is evaporating. Global competitors are becoming actually competitive. These factors and more serve to shift the overall outlook of the country toward the pragmatically conservative. It is a reasonable guess that this is a long-term trend.
The idea that loggers are all but Untouchables, that clubbing a halibut on deck can be used to hurt you politically, that PETA is a legitimate voice on Farm Policy, and that small scale placer miners can be painted as Desecrating the Sanctity of Nature – are all assumptions that no longer appear to be in the ascendancy.
Canada traditionally puts more emphasis on Provincial & local authority, than on the Federal. The US strived for much of the 20th C. to hulk-up the role of the Fed, but now there are strong signs that this experiment is being dialed back.
Federal domination works through the distribution of tax moneys, and that distribution network deals with State & Provincial government & capitols, and especially with Big Cities.
As we watch Federal ‘payola’ systems wane & wilt, the system in which big cities rake in the cash purely & simply because they are big cities, will lose momentum. Cities will have to make decisions in a much more down-to-earth and business-like way, instead of putting on a song & dance for predictable hand-outs.
Cities are the bastion of both individuals and Philosophies that can’t club halibut, couldn’t turn trees into lumber, and won’t wash gravel down at the creek. These constituencies appear on-track to become, while perhaps not Endangered Species, at least diminished & displaced within the political ecosystem. Big Cities have long been our biggest & worse chronic welfare recipients … and they – and their Philosophies – will change as they are weened off the public purse.
The bottom line is, that although British Columbia will have Parks that preserve some stands of Old Growth timber, and there will certainly be mining regulations for both the large & small players – BC is wealthy in natural resources and needs to avoid getting sweet-talked or harangued into cutting off its nose to spite it’s face.
Trends in North American popular & political culture, and in the larger global context, support that going forward BC can & will strive to safeguard mining & miners. And loggers, and halibut-clubbers.