Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Pascua Lama

Now, I'm not an eco-warrior but I do think this earth a beautiful and fragile place worthy of our protection and respect. It's also the only one we've got. So when the e.petition came around asking for our support in opposing the Pascua Lama project in Chile I was keen to add my name and forward the petition to all in my address book. Perhaps you received it?

The following extract gives some idea of the monumentally destructive scale of the project:

In the Valle de San Felix, the purest water in Chile runs from 2 rivers, fed by 2 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 is necessary to break, to destroy the glaciers - something never conceived of in the history of the world - and to make 2 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 Gold. The operation is planned by a multi-national company, one of whose members is George Bush Senior (what a surprise eh?).
The Chilean Government has approved the project to start this year, 2006. The only reason it hasn't started yet is because the farmers have got a temporary stay of execution. If they destroy the glaciers, they will not just destroy the source of specially 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 on this project is to get help from international justice.

Check this link for more details. If you are able and willing, please add your voice to the many that oppose this greedy desecration.

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