Support mining; mining supports you

Posted: Monday, October 29, 2007

I have just read the article "Judge rules initiative can move forward" in the Oct. 18 issue of the Juneau Empire and would like to comment.

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That article states, "The Renewable Resources Council wants to begin collecting petition signatures for voters to decide on restricting large scale mining and the pollutant discharge."

I am not an economist but while studying engineering in college I was required to take some economics courses. I recall that each course began with the premise that all economies are based on mining and agriculture. No mining and no agriculture, no economy. It was mining that brought man out of the stone age and made possible today's economies, cities, transportation and communication systems, modern farming and agriculture and standard of living.

I suggest that people walk around the Juneau and try to find anything that would be possible without mining. The car you drive and the streets and roads you drive on; the sidewalks you walk on; your buildings, both public and private; the schools for your children; power generation and the transmission lines to bring that power to your buildings and homes; state ferries of steel; tugs and barges made of steel to bring the groceries and supplies from Seattle to Alaska; the computer on your desk and the cell phone in your pocket.

I believe the people of Juneau recently voted to pay millions of dollars for a new swimming pool. What do you suppose the building materials will be? Probably concrete and steel. I believe a person would be hard pressed to find anything in today's society that would be possible without mining and the material mining produces. Even the rims on my glasses are titanium.

I would not sign the Renewable Resources Council petition and I hope no one else does. Should their initiative make the ballot, I will vote no on the initiative and I hope everyone else will also vote no. To restrict large-scale mining is also to restrict economic development.

Ed Fairbanks


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