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by Steve Timmer
Sep 13, 2013, 11:00 AM

On comments – you’re a NIMBY edition

Here’s commenter Michael, in a comment on my recent inventory of sulfide mining stories, Sulfide mining stories reprise.

If MN is such a bad place for PolyMet & Twin Metal[s] to mine nickel & copper where is a good or the best place to mine for nickel & copper?

Steve replies: It seems that the mining companies management sat down and said, “Where can we maximize the environmental damage looking for low grade ore?” And some self-promoting, junior engineer said, “I know, let’s do it next to a national wilderness treasure! Lots of water and delicate flora and fauna (he probably would have said plants and animals) we can disrupt.” And management responds, “Smithers, that’s brilliant!”

It isn’t my burden, Michael, to decide where mining should go, worldwide. Wait a minute; I do have one idea: much more comprehensive recycling. It’s why Glencore is left with a stone aluminum plant hanging around its neck.

Or are you just a NIMBY? A person who does not care [where] the mines are as long as its not in MN. Or one the simple mined [sic.] people that believes that if the Polymet and Twin Metal[s] mines are not built demand for copper wire to move electricity from solar panels and wind turbans [sic.] will stop?

Steve says: Michael, I’m a NIMBWCAW. The argument that Michael makes here is a variation of Tom Rukavina’s holding his cell phone aloft and suggesting that we can all kiss our iPhones goodbye if we don’t despoil northeast Minnesota. This is calculated to scare all young people into acquiescence, just as the Ruk’s argument that the Range “won two world wars” is supposed to convince my generation to go along.

This is junior high stuff. No, it’s sillier than that.

Are you [a] person that does not care if the mines are in 3rd world countries where there are zero no [sic.] environmental controls ? Where companies dump untreated waste into rivers people drink from and wash clothes etc. Places were untreated waste is dumped on farm fields that people grow crops they eat and feed to their animals[.]

Steve responds: This is actually my favorite argument. I used to get a form of it delivered to me as a kid: eat your broccoli because there are starving children in China. Even at age, oh, seven, I understood this to be a complete non sequitur, although at the time I was unfamiliar with the term. I was also unfamiliar with the term guilt trip, but I knew that’s what it was.

I still had to eat the broccoli, though.

Abandoning our environmental standards will not improve those in third world countries; it is laughable and puerile to think so.

Update: Faithful reader Matt says:

By the way, sic is short for ‘sic erat scriptum’. Which means when you use it, it should be ‘[sic]’, not ‘[sic.]’. Because the latter would imply the letters ‘sic’ are an abbreviation of a longer word. According to wikipedia, placing a period (full stop) as you do is incorrect.

So, what I’m wondering is, if I quote you quoting this guy, do i need to do something like the following?

… Or one the simple mined [sic.][sic] people …

I bow to the authority of Wikipedia, well, and Matt, of course.

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