This Earth Day, let’s be on Mother Earth’s side

From The Progressive:  http://www.progressive.org/earth-day

By Winona LaDuke
April 22, 2013

This Earth Day, let’s quit being extremists.

That’s what the U.S. economy relies on right now, and that’s how the huge mineral and fossil fuel companies are making their money: extremism.

When they peel off layers of the Earth for oil and make poisonous tar sands, they are acting like extremists.

And when they crack and contaminate aquifers for natural gas, a process known as fracking, they are acting like extremists.

And when they blow off the top of a mountain for coal, or maybe just put an oil well in a pristine ecosystem and drill 20,000 feet down into the depths of our ocean, they are acting like extremists.

It is arrogant, and it is wrong.

And often, Native peoples pay the price.

The DeBeers mining company has invaded the Cree territory of the far north of Canada’s James Bay, pulling $5 billion worth of diamonds out annually, and relegating the Cree people to Third World conditions. Their water is contaminated, and a plague of scabies and impetigo has hit the tribe.

Elsewhere in Canada, companies are proposing to create massive mines in pristine watersheds. The acid runoff could ruin our habitat, and the cyanide could drain into our water lifeblood.

In Wisconsin, a mining company called Gogebic Taconite helped draft a law earlier this year that allows it to contaminate wetlands in the watershed of the Bad River Ojibwe just a few miles from Lake Superior. Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislature did the company’s bidding.

Continue reading at:  http://www.progressive.org/earth-day

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