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  1. #1
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    Article about radical changes to Iditarod Trail.

    Donlin Gold proposes to build a pipeline over the historic Iditarod Trail.

    "Operating the mine will require vast quantities of energy. The mine plan calls for an average load of 153 megawatts of electricity, roughly the same amount consumed by Fairbanks, Alaska’s second largest city. To generate this power, Donlin Gold will build a buried natural gas pipeline running from Beluga, on the west side of Cook Inlet, to the mine—a distance of 313 miles. The pipeline will run through Iditarod Country and along 75 miles of the Iditarod National Historic Trail. The mine plan estimates an annual consumption of 307 million cubic meters of natural gas, and 40 million gallons of diesel fuel. This would emit 597,675 tons of CO2 each year, equivalent to the average annual emissions of 112,959 passenger vehicles and exceeding the nation of Belize’s total emissions in 2008, making the mine a major contributor to global warming."

    Full article here: Gold Mine Planned for Southwest Alaska Threatens Environment and Local Communities – EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement
    and view a slideshow here: Where the Heck is Donlin Slide Show -
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  2. #2
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    Well, its a good thing that climate change is just a conspiracy created by Al Gore and the gays, so there is nothing to worry about. Jesus will come back and take us all to heaven anyway, so we might as well trash the environment.

  3. #3
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    Well, that is one way to look at things, but another POV would be something like; foreign multi-national companies are efficient at getting their needs met and once the resources are extracted the people who live in these areas are left holding the bag. The bag in this case is perpetual, meaning 'forever' treatment of mine wastes, thousands of tons of toxic mercury, loss of an iconic and nationally recognized trail and a bonding/insurance system that is so weak that if and when something, after closure, goes wrong, the tax payers are left to clean it up. But Al Gore and the gays could be a problem too. I have not given it much thought.
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  4. #4
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    F**king mining. We have the same problem in WI. Well, not the same problem but local republicans have a total hard-on for open-pit iron mining. And they want to loosen environmental restrictions so that it's easier to do it.

    THe mine they currently are trying to get moving would be a giant open pit iron mine in the middle of some pretty amazing northwoods forest. And the mine operators want to be able to completely fill in a couple trout streams and dump their waste water into the local rivers. One of those rivers being the Wolf, a river that generates a ton of tourism, and one of those rivers being the Wisconsin, which generates a ton of tourism and power for the state.

    But, screw it, Outdoors and tourism is only like 7 or 8 percent of our economy and mining is not quite 1 percent, so clearly mining is more important.

    The damned mine will create 2 or 3 hundred jobs. I'm betting it destroys twice that many.

  5. #5
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    Novel concept that a portion of the transportation corridor which was originally developed and used to support a mining district (1910's-1920's Iditarod) might again be used to support a mining district.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    Novel concept that a portion of the transportation corridor which was originally developed and used to support a mining district (1910's-1920's Iditarod) might again be used to support a mining district.
    Are you seriously saying that these two are equivalent?

  7. #7
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    We can all stop consuming, that way there's no need for a new mine!

    Or, we keep on living our live, and we live with the consequences!

  8. #8
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    'Stopping consuming' would sort of imply that gold is a massively useful metal we need huge quantities of, and abandoning it would be more or less impossible. But apparently about 50% of gold is used for jewelry, and 40% is stockpiled as 'investments'. In other words, it's value is largely decorative and/or imaginary. And it's extraction generally makes use of toxic materials like cyanide and mercury. Montana (where I grew up) is littered with toxic cyanide heap-leach gold mine tailings ponds. I'd be all for us living with the consequences of our strange fascination with gold, but in the end it's mostly our kids (and theirs), and the beings who live in the watersheds affected by gold mining who will live (and die) with the consequences of it's make believe value, not us.

  9. #9
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    With needing to stop consuming, I meant more than the consumption of gold!

    We live in a non durable society based on growth, we need more and better and new all the time, at the cheapest price!

    that has consequences.

  10. #10
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    Are you suggesting that I not get that new bike I've been looking at for months?!? Heresy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nothing's impossible View Post
    With needing to stop consuming, I meant more than the consumption of gold!

    We live in a non durable society based on growth, we need more and better and new all the time, at the cheapest price!

    that has consequences.

  11. #11
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    If it's a bike you plan on riding a plastik bike untill the tires are worn the planet has a problem.
    If you plan on riding over 10 years with the same frame, go ahead!

  12. #12
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    I was mostly being sarcastic but I actually agree with you 100% on this. My point was that it is easy to talk about consuming less but more difficult to abstain from whatever our "pet" consumption is. Our family has made a LOT of changes in this direction but it definitely requires real effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nothing's impossible View Post
    If it's a bike you plan on riding a plastik bike untill the tires are worn the planet has a problem.
    If you plan on riding over 10 years with the same frame, go ahead!

  13. #13
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    anyway, I hope the Itadarod locals cane profit a bit from the mine as well, in south America and Afrika that's seldom the case!

  14. #14
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    "Stopping consuming' would sort of imply that gold is a massively useful metal we need huge quantities of, and abandoning it would be more or less impossible. But apparently about 50% of gold is used for jewelry, and 40% is stockpiled as 'investments'. In other words, it's value is largely decorative and/or imaginary. And it's extraction generally makes use of toxic materials like cyanide and mercury. Montana (where I grew up) is littered with toxic cyanide heap-leach gold mine tailings ponds. I'd be all for us living with the consequences of our strange fascination with gold, but in the end it's mostly our kids (and theirs), and the beings who live in the watersheds affected by gold mining who will live (and die) with the consequences of it's make believe value, not us."

    This is one of the main points about gold mining that I personally feel needs to be considered more often. Open pit gold mining is an inherently destructive process. I can imagine situations where the benefit to society outweigh the cost to the environment but with gold, there is very little benefit. Gold is not useful like iron or copper. If you took the outside view, you would see that we make these enormous pits in the earth to extract one specific mineral and then we process (most of it) and then we put it back into the ground, in a vault. The external costs are very high for a substance thats value is, mostly, imaginary.
    This is a great article on the subject: Reconsidering the "Value" of Gold
    Mjölnir of Bjørn dot com is my active website.

  15. #15
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    "Novel concept that a portion of the transportation corridor which was originally developed and used to support a mining district (1910's-1920's Iditarod) might again be used to support a mining district."


    This trail has been designated by congress as a National Historic Trail. If the mine proponent were planning to bring their supplies with dogsled, I would have no problem with the development.
    I wonder what Alaska's image will like when we sell out our treasures at every first offer that comes along. Will we be able to maintain a durable brand? Alaska the Great Land. I wonder if Canadian mining companies care about Alaskan pride and identity?
    I also wonder if our children will want to continue to live here if the renewable resources that we are currently famous for are whittled away, like they have been in the lower 48. We currently have clean air, clean water and abundant wildlife. These dont disappear with one or two projects but by the death of a thousand cuts. I personally feel that we, as a state, need to really consider these questions.
    Mjölnir of Bjørn dot com is my active website.

  16. #16
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    I have a friend that was as engineer at a gold mine in Southern Idaho around 20 years ago. He told me that the mine had made over 5 million dollars that year, and that they were getting about $100 of gold per truck load of dirt (large off road mining trucks), all chemically extracted. Not a very earth friendly endeavor.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjornolson View Post
    I also wonder if our children will want to continue to live here if the renewable resources that we are currently famous for are whittled away, like they have been in the lower 48. We currently have clean air, clean water and abundant wildlife. These dont disappear with one or two projects but by the death of a thousand cuts. I personally feel that we, as a state, need to really consider these questions.
    We will grind our children into dust if that's what makes it possible for us to not change our ways. We'll let them figure out how to fix it when we die. Besides, we earned this stuff. Why should we have to think about consumption?

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