All the stories are adding up

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, July 04, 2005

If you connect the dots of recent news stories, you get a clear picture that should catch everyone's attention. KTOO radio and the Juneau Empire have brought us the following stories over the last couple of weeks: 1) The Redfern Tulsequah mine is leaching toxins into the Taku watershed, a major source of much of the fish we eat. Redfern does not deny the fact that they are poisoning the watershed, but they say they can't afford to clean it up. 2) Southeast Alaskans note tumors and other abnormalities in wild foods (fish, deer, moose) which were never found 20 years ago. 3) Native Alaskan cancer rates have risen dramatically in the last 50 years. 4) Local groups express concern about the Kensington mine being given permission to defy the Clean Water Act and dump toxic mine waste in a pristine lake. The mining company admits the waste will kill everything in the lake.

So why are human cancer rates going up and wild animals being found with tumors? This isn't too hard to figure out. Our world is carrying an ever-increasing burden of toxins, and another mine just means another dose of toxins. Of course we all want a healthy economy and good jobs for everyone, but poisoning ourselves and our children is not the answer. If the Kensington mine is allowed to operate, it will just be one more nail in our coffin.

Kathy Coghill


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