Contemplating Earth’s Beauty   3 comments

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” — Rachel Carson

A View of Tucson From The Mouth of Pima Canyon, January 7, 2012. (Notice air pollution south of Tucson near the Santa Rita Mountains.) — Image by kenne

When we decided to move from Houston to Tucson, there were many factors considered, not the least of which were beautiful blue skies, clean air, and nature at its finest. When considering Tucson, we also were looking at Santa Fé for the same reasons. It just so happens that both cities are in the top 25 cleanest for long-term particle pollution – Santa Fe #2 and Tucson #6.

Tucson is in Pima County in southern Arizona with a county population of over one million, and to their credit, much has been done to maintain a balance between economic growth, while responsibly managing the pollution factors. One of Arizona’s most prominent industries is copper mining (along with cotton, cattle, climate, and citrus — the 5 C’s), making it an essential part of the economy. However, “the historical conduct of the copper mining industry in the state has turned this sector into a pariah,” alienating much of the public. Today, this alienation is evident in the public’s reaction to the proposed Rosemont Copper Project, which would create an open-pit mine roughly 30 miles south of Tucson in the Santa Rita Mountains.

Although there are many natural causes of air pollution, most are the result of human activities, which have been scientifically documented over the years. In Rachel Carson’s 1962 book, Silent Springshe wrote, “Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species — man — acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world.” The power to alter nature can have both good and bad results. In seeking approval, Rosemont is addressing the problems (adverse consequences) of past mining companies.   If approved, only time will tell if Rosemont will create water problems, air pollution, and a massage tailings pile mess like the one the mining industry has created west of Green Valley.

It can be done right by demonstrating our mastery over ourselves, not over nature. With that in mind, you might agree with Hugh Holub statement in the “. . . instead of trying to run Rosemont out of Pima County, I suggest local leaders ought to do everything possible to help Rosemont create a 21st-century responsible mining project, and then use the precedents achieved with Rosemont to shove them down the throats of the other mining companies in the county that continue to operate like this was the 19th century.” Sounds reasonable, but why do I keep hearing over and over in my ears, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” How many times are we going to be foolish?


In the end, can jobs make up for ruined beauty?

View of Green Valley and The Tailings Pile To The West From Madera Canyon in The Santa Rita Mountains — Image by kenne

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3 responses to “Contemplating Earth’s Beauty

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  1. In the end, can jobs make up for ruined beauty? Nope.


  2. As per WHO new research each year more than 2 million people are dying due to Air pollution. It is not good for our future. We need to take a necessary step in this regards. PALS is a new step of preventing Air Pollution in India.
    PALS is the “Pure Air Lovers Society”. A Group of people who believe in working towards the air clean. Join PALS and meet more PALS and share your thinking with others.


  3. Reblogged this on Becoming is Superior to Being and commented:

    On this “Earth Day” 2020, here’s a post from eight years ago.– kenne


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