Our Future Lies With Tailings Ponds

Posted on by 0 comment

The Mount Polley disaster is a glimpse of the future that we’ve carved for ourselves.

At best, tailings ponds represent negligence and casual treatment of the environment.  The worse case scenario was just witnessed a few days ago:  Massive floods into clean lakes and rivers, destruction of complete, vast ecosystems in the blink of an eye, and (what I predict) the ultimate bankruptcy of Imperial Metals because they won’t be able to afford the litany of lawsuits that will follow.

‘I told you so’ is a painful phrase that we can all mouth silently as we look in horror at what’s happened this week in BC, but we must prove that action ultimately speaks louder than words.

Mount Polley is a tiny glimpse of what’s wrong in our world, as we’re lead by corporate fear-mongers and greed instead of practical, common sense.

The company might – might – face a MILLION dollar fine.

Oooh.  Ouch.

That’s a couple of month’s work for the President, who made at least $3 million in salary, bonuses and options in 2010.

We need to look at ALL of this mess in a fresh light.  We need to begin a process of carving away at the notion of ‘limited liability’ because it’s killing our planet.  Disasters are occurring all the time, right under our noses and because of the way corporations are structured, no one is held accountable.

And we need to start thinking of our environment like sly landlords do when it comes to students:  we know you’re coming, we know you’re going to wreck the place, but we know we can also impose a few billion worth of bonds and deposits to ensure you don’t get too carried away.

In other words, we need to force any company in extractive industries to post a bond secured by a third-party that would clean up and COMPLETELY restore a site every 3-5 years of production.  Failure to restore = loss of deposit.

Mandatory sentences would also be a good reminder to the world’s corporate elite that we’re sick of this crap.

Suncor is ‘proud’ owner to the world’s largest dam – dam, not just tailings dam – second only to the Three Gorges Dam in China.  What’s the plan for Suncor when the tailings ‘pond’ breaks or leaks there (if it’s not already)?

Life-ending phenols, arsenic, mercury; cancer-makers such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and fish-killing naphthenic acids all pollute the grounds of Alberta.

Hundreds of BILLIONS of GALLONS of toxic sludge are being held back by packed dirt.

That’s like burying spent uranium rods behind sand piles made on the beach by 10-year olds.

In addition to ending limited liability, mandatory sentences for senior executives and secured bonds, maybe a simple renaming of ‘Tailings Ponds’ for what they truly are:  ‘Massive Toxic Waste Dumps’ and ‘Gross Negligence at the Profit of Stockholders and Cost of Taxpayers’.

Waste Dumps are the biggest environmental issue that most people have never heard of.  If it’s remotely possible that something good can come of the Mount Polley disaster, perhaps it’s the fact that they’re are now on the radar of the general public and things will change.

Category: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply