Despite our technological advances modern civilization relies on mineral resources just as much (if not more) than we did in the past. Our computers need rare earth material to work and other products need metals like aluminum. Recycling isn’t perfect and isn’t plentiful around the world. All of these factors contribute to our need for the mining industry. Unless we change our purchases we will continue to fund mining corporations.
The issueÂ is that mining corporations aren’t good. Indeed, this article outlines why mining companies are problematicÂ all the way from support from the Canadian military on how to run “domestic operations” to the outright theft and destruction of land. What canÂ we do about this?
Obviously, the first thing you can do to help alleviate mining pressure on the world is to consume less. The second thing you can do is buy used goods, then lastly recycle. The saying “reduce, reuse, recycle” is in that order for a reason.
For a more direct approach you can join the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network which is an organization focussed on making the world a better place. This week in Toronto there is a major mining convention and the MISN is there trying to (ironically) disrupt it and educate people. The first step to positive change is knowing that it’s needed and that’s what MISN is trying to do.
The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), organizesÂ the worldâ€™s largest mining conventionÂ every year in TorontoÂ in March and carries out lobbying efforts in favour of the Canadian mining industry throughout the rest of the year. They describe themself as â€œthe leading voice of the mineral exploration and development communityâ€ andÂ claim to encourage â€œbest practices in technical, operational, environmental, safety and social performanceâ€. Meanwhile, Canadian mining companies areÂ far and away the worst offenders in environmental, human rights and other abuses around the world (according toÂ a global study commissioned by PDAC itselfÂ but never made public).
The PDAC convention is dedicated to telling compelling stories about the mining industryâ€™s successes and innovations, especially in the realm of â€œcorporate social responsibilityâ€ and sustainability. But we know better! Letâ€™s not let them get away with using this convention as yet another shiny PR opportunity to cover up industry harms and repress dissent.