Mining Is Inherently Unsustainable

Jamie Kneen

Communications and Outreach Coordinator

Notes for Jamie Kneen's response to Pierre Gratton, Vice President for Sustainable Development and Public Affairs of the Mining Association of Canada in a debate entitled "Earth: What is Mining All About? The Up and Down Sides", presented as part of the Ottawa University Institute of Environment 2006-07 Lecture Series “Elemental Environmentalism: Water, Air, Fire and Earth”. Mining - as distinct from using metals - is destructive to the biophysical environment and its contributions to human well-being are uneven and often overwhelmed by the damage it inevitably inflicts. Mining must be drastically scaled back; restricted, not expanded; and where it cannot be avoided it must be carried out carefully and responsibly.