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Mining Is Inherently Unsustainable

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.