Saturday, June 03, 2006

Costing the earth

Sunday edit
Oh dear. Apologies to my readers! Mumcat, (who is clearly NOT an N in Myers Briggs terms, in that she doesn't just assume on the basis of "A" that "Z" will eventually follow) read all the small print at snopes and discovered that "From a practical standpoint, the petition reproduced at the head of this page is not now valid in that the e-mail address supplied is no longer collecting or forwarding copies. The Pascua Lama project remains an issue of ongoing concern, however, and interested parties can find updated information on the subject (and a list of government and business officials to contact) at the Mining Watch Canada web site."
If you feel so moved, please do look at that and do whatever feels appropriate, but dont worry to email me for the original petition....How sad that through inadvertently wasting people's time, this campaign may actually have been counter-productive in inducing "pollution fatigue". I do hope it hasn't for you, in any case, I make no apology for airing the issue...and feel that prayer is probably more necessary than ever!
Please do pray for those whom the project threatens, and for a transformation of our attitudes to the fragile resources of the planet before it's too late.

In the valley de San Felix, the purest water in Chile runs from rivers, fed
by two glaciers. Water is a most precious resource, and wars will be fought
for it. Indigenous farmers use the water, there is no unemployment, and they
provide the second largest source of income for the area. Under the
glaciers has been found a huge deposit of gold, silver and other minerals. To get
at these, it would be necessary to break, to destroy the glaciers - something
never conceived of in the history of the world - and to make two huge holes,
each as big as a whole mountain, one for extraction and one for the mine's
rubbish tip. The project is called PASCUA LAMA. The company is called Barrick

The operation is planned by a multi-national company, one of whose members
is George Bush Senior. The Chilean Government has approved the project to
start this year, 2006. The only reason it hasn't started yet is that the
farmers have got a temporary stay of execution. If they destroy the glaciers,
they will not just destroy the source of especially pure water, but they will
permanently contaminate the 2 rivers so they will never again be fit for human
or animal consumption because of the use of cyanide and sulphuric acid in
the extraction process. Every last gram of gold will go abroad to the
multinational company and not one will be left with the people whose land it is.

They will only be left with the poisoned water and the resulting illnesses.
The farmers have been fighting a long time for their land, but have been
forbidden to make a TV appeal by a ban from the Ministry of the Interior.

Their only hope now of putting brakes put on this project is to get help
from international justice. The world must know what is happening in Chile.
the only place to start changing the world is from here.

The online petition reads thus:

No to Pacua Lama Open-cast mine in the Andean Cordillera on the
Chilean-Argentinian frontier. We ask the Chilean Government not to authorise the Pacua
Lama, to protect the whole of 3 glaciers, the purity of the water of the San
Felix Valley and El Transito, the quality of the agricultural land of the
region of Atacama, the quality of life of the Diaguita people and of the whole
population of the region.

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