Where to mine in Alaska is the wrong question. The question we all should ask presupposes where mineral development should take place and more appropriately asks: How do we produce consumer products using far less virgin materials that demand the highest amounts of toxic chemicals to prepare it for steel, gold products, etc.?
Alaskans again find themselves in a position of being asked to supply the raw materials needed for the United States to continue its unsustainable practices of consuming a quarter of the world’s energy. The question that all Alaskans should be asking is: Do we want to enable these industries to continue “business as usual” by physically giving our state away with a shortsighted ill-informed approval to the detriment of our children and grandchildren?
Our way of life has to change for the Earth’s sake and, Alaskans have a unique opportunity to act as a catalyst for that change. Denying mineral companies permits for their extractive processes will not just relocate mining in other areas of the world, but it will raise further awareness of natural resource scarcity and perhaps force the innovation needed for finding alternative inputs.
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