Copperwood a good idea

To The Journal editor:

Behold! About 1.1 billion years ago, tectonic forces began to tear apart the future Great Lakes area and beyond. Rifting brought abundant volcanism and deposition of thousands of meters of basalt lava. Hydrothermal activity deposited abundant copper minerals within the void space of the basalt. Subsequent tectonic forces reverse course, closing the rift and thrust faulting portions of the basalt upwards to become the future backbone of the Keweenaw peninsula and western Upper Peninsula Glaciation, which ended about 10,000 years ago, scraped away much overburden, leaving copper minerals close enough to the surface to be economically mined.

Fast forward to recent history. Big automobile manufacturers have excelled at putting most mass transit out of business and convincing humans they need to have an automobile for maximum freedom. Complicit big oil companies provided the cheap fuel. Complicit big development conspired to design communities in which automobiles were almost the only way to get from home to work. Governments, stuck dealing with the mess that free economy created, built and widened ever more roads.

A few very smart individuals could see the future results of burning so much fossil fuel. (92, 186

Today, in spite of environmental consequences, and in spite of not having any true need, many Yooper and Trolls absolutely love and insist on owning big pickup trucks and SUVs.

After all, without such a vehicle, you cannot be a true man, or truly empowered woman. Fortunately, some of the U.P.’s approximately 2.5-billion-year-old iron deposits are used in manufacturing some of these vehicles

Anti-mining environmentally inclined individuals realize what the impact of a fossil fuel burning economy has had on our environment. They want society to use “environmentally clean” wind and solar power sources, with the energy being stored in batteries used to power electric vehicles. What they apparently fail (or refuse) to understand is that manufacturing of batteries and associated wiring requires metallic minerals which must be mined. Wake up! Yes, mining IS required to build the “green” economy that AMEIIs want!

The AMEIIs are now whining about a copper mine that would be located near Lake Superior and the Porcupine Mountains State Park (May 13 Mining Journal). OMG! It will destroy the beauty that attracts tourists and poison the environment!

I believe that the real insanity may lie with AMEII folks like (a recent letter writer) who wish to continue driving personally owned vehicles, including electric “bicycles” in the U.P.’s “rugged and pristine” environment and would rather have the metallic minerals mined in someone else’s back yard. I doubt there is any place on earth which AMEII’s and local residents would be willing to “sacrifice” in the name of a “green” economy.

Perhaps the AMEII’s should consider the environmental cost of tourism to the U.P.’s “Pure Michigan pristineness.” Tourists travel the U.P.’s roads and trails in automobiles, trucks, vans, motorcycles, ATV’s, snowmobiles, and bicycles. All of these vehicles require metals mining, manufacturing, product transport to point of purchase. Most require some form of non-human fuel/power in order to operate.

Vehicles driven off-road kills vegetation, loosen up soil causing soil erosion and exposing tree roots. In most cases, the loosened soil makes 100% human-powered bicycling on two-track trails with normal width tires unreasonably difficult.

Hosting tourists requires a whole industry, including gas stations, motels, campgrounds, taverns, restaurants, casinos, boat tours, road widening, enlarged waste treatment plants, etc.

Have AMEIIs ever been on the Empire/Tilden mine tour? I have. Mines attract tourists too. The huge equipment, huge deep hole, and huge waste piles are awesome human achievements to behold.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today