February 4, 2014
It's remarkable to think about the things irresponsible mining companies get away with -- particularly in isolated and developing parts of the world. For example, mining companies regularly dump toxic mine waste directly into the world's rivers, lakes and oceans – killing wildlife, contaminating drinking water and destroying livelihoods in the process. But recently, the tiny Pacific Island nation of Papua New Guinea, said: enough is enough. PNG's National Court ordered the huge Ok Tedi mine, formerly run by BHP Billiton, to stop dumping mine waste into the river.
January 30, 2014
I spent nearly a week in Peru’s Cajamarca region in spring of 2013 investigating the controversy around the proposed Conga Mine, which sits atop a plateau nearly 4,000 meters above sea level north of the city of Cajamarca, Perú. The plateau is a massive dome of uplifted metamorphic and sedimentary rock rich valuable minerals like gold, copper and molybdenum. Lower in elevation than other parts of the Peruvian Andes, however, the area lacks snow and ice. The hydrology instead is rain-fed, nourishing high-altitude grasslands called jalgas, as well as alpine lakes and wetlands, or bofedales. These lakes and wetlands are the headwaters of all the streams, rivers, and drinking water for the surrounding areas, including most of Cajamarca’s 250,000 residents.
January 30, 2014
More local government officials in Washington, DC have taken a stand against horizontal drilling and fracking for shale gas in the George Washington National Forest. Commissioners of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2A, who represent the neighborhood that includes the White House, voted on December 18 to pass a resolution opposing the drilling practice in the forest. The commissioners joined three DC-area water providers, DC Water, Fairfax Water and the Army Corps of Engineers’ Washington Aqueduct, that have also opposed horizontal drilling and fracking in the forest. Earthworks provided testimony in support of the commission’s resolution.
By Marc Choyt
January 29, 2014
When I learned last July of a proposed gold mine just south of my home in Santa Fe, I brought a group together and started a campaign. Earthworks offered support early; and last week, we published a study, Public Risk, Private Reward: an analysis of the Ortiz Gold Mine proposal. This report was part of a broader strategy—it followed my editorial in our local paper in September and the Stop Santa Fe Gold Facebook page. We needed to frame how public risk outweighs economic benefit.
I also made sure people knew I am a real Santa Fe jeweler and business man, a winner of sustainability awards. The selling of the opposition to a gold mine had to be rational, focused mainly on human impact, and tied to the bottom line. In a drought stricken region, the mine may consume the annual water supply of up to 7,000 homes, drain acid into the groundwater for generations and [Ortiz_map] create a massive tailing heap.
January 29, 2014
Last weekend, we carelessly posted an image on Twitter that promoted classism and transphobia. It was wrong for us to have posted this image, and we apologize to our community.
We want to say a little bit of background about how this happened, because we think that there is little point in learning a lesson if you can't articulate the lesson you learned.
We are writing this post for public consumption, because the initial offensive image was posted publicly.