Letter: Amateur adventures with geology field trips
"There must be a way to achieve acquiring the resources without destruction of the land — a way to not exploit the land here or in other countries for the dollar. It hasn't been found yet, but I keep hoping it will be discovered by these young, determined people," writes Kat Kindel.
Being an amateur rockhounder, I was raised to appreciate the various rock formations and their "jewels" that could be found nearby. Looking for agates was a regular pastime with my family and friends.
When I met my partner, who had degrees in geology and pharmacy, we attended many field trips and dinners with local groups, who met to discuss the latest developments, as well as swap stories about their travels. I was an environmentalist and self-professed tree hugger, so hearing some of the opinions regarding "mining at any cost" was disheartening.
The variety of those attending was great. Academics, globally published mining engineers and exploration experts who looked like they had slept in their clothes all congregated together, sharing their views. I grew to have a greater appreciation for their efforts to find what the world needed for production of everyday items.
I never got past some of the methods used to mine the ores, but I understood, to a degree, the need. After decades of attending these meetings, I saw a small shift in the newcomers. They seemed more interested in finding a meshing of mining with environmental concerns, which wasn't really talked about much before that. I had traveled to many mining districts around the country, and saw firsthand the destruction that was left in their wake.
There must be a way to achieve acquiring the resources without destruction of the land — a way to not exploit the land here or in other countries for the dollar. It hasn't been found yet, but I keep hoping it will be discovered by these young, determined people. We do need the resources, but we need to honor the earth, and not destroy it. Good luck to those seeking the answers. Fingers crossed.