America’s wilderness is for sale

America’s wilderness is for sale

This water is so clean, you can drink it. I’ve been drinking out of this river for
probably fifty years. What does it taste like? Tastes like water. That’s because the
water here comes from one of the most protected places in the United States. You can’t get here with a car. You can’t use a boat with a motor. We couldn’t even fly our drone past this point. These are the Boundary Waters of
northern Minnesota’s Superior National Forest. Thousands of pristine lakes like this one. Hundreds of thousands of people come
to see it every year. You listen to the sounds of the rapids. You watch the eagle fly overhead. You paddle on still waters. Be on your own. But there’s one problem. The Boundary Waters is just outside one of the largest untapped sources of copper in the world. Under the previous administration, America’s rich natural resources, of which your state has a lot, were put under lock and key. Since taking office in 2017, the Trump administration
has opened up more than 13 million acres of public land for drilling and mining, that’s more than any previous administration, including a part of Superior National Forest, right outside the Boundary Waters. Copper, the mineral underneath the forest, is the wiring in our phones, the pipes in our walls. And we also need it for electric car batteries, and solar panels, and wind turbines. We need copper, and there aren’t that many places in the world to get it. All this has renewed a really old and complicated question: when is it worth
risking the life above ground for the riches underneath? The US has more than 600 million acres
of national parks, monuments, forests and wilderness areas. They are the brainchild of President Theodore Roosevelt. He worried that the reckless speed logging,
blast rock mining, and oil drilling that fueled the Industrial Revolution could
ruin the country’s beauty and resources for future generations. So he created 150
national forests and parks, 18 national monuments, and 51 bird sanctuaries. I mean, get
up on a high mountain somewhere and remember that somebody saved that so
that you could have that experience and that’s a kind of remarkable legacy. We call them drinking water lakes, because you can dip your cup right out the side
of your canoe and drink straight from the lakes without even treating them or
anything. Jason owns a business that outfits
visitors for canoe trips in the Boundary Waters. They come here because
what we have is so special and it’s so unique you just can’t you can’t have
this sort of an experience anyplace else in the world. To have, you know, a million
acres totally undeveloped. The recreation and tourism industry here is big. it brings in about $77 million a year. The problem is, that’s not
enough to support the entire region. Seasonal recreation workers typically
make about twenty-five thousand dollars a year. That’s less than the state’s
average income. You’re not going to be able to raise a family on $25,000 a year. You’re not even going to be able to buy a house. And this part of the state used to have a different core industry: iron mining. We’ve been mining up in this area for well over a hundred years, and so it has a big significance. There are lot of second, third, fourth, generation miners that have always worked in the mine or their family has worked in the
mine. The company that plans to build the mine near the Boundary Waters, Twin
Metals, has said they’ll pay about $90,000 a year, which is well over the state’s average income. But copper mining is also risky in ways that
iron mining wasn’t. For the last two years, the Twin Metals company has been collecting samples of the rock that they plan to mine near the Boundary Waters. This is a typical core sample, these little blocks that you’re seeing in here
really establish how deep we are below ground surface. Once we hit this, 755 feet, this is where we start seeing the minerals. The copper is locked inside this shiny part here. To get it out, you have to crush up
the rock to a powder-like consistency copper only makes up about 1% of the
sample, which means 99% of it is waste. The crushed up rock is submerged in a
solution that floats the copper to the top. It’s eventually what becomes wires,
pipes, and everything else. And the waste rock sinks. That’s the risky part. It contains toxic elements like arsenic, lead, and mercury, which were previously
trapped inside the rock. And usually, when mining companies produce toxic waste, they store it in giant pits, like these. But those pits don’t always hold up. It may be the worst environmental disaster in British Columbia’s history. 3 million gallon toxic stew of heavy metals poured downstream. Devastation as far as the eye can see. and the question that everyone here is
just stunned by is how this could ever have been allowed to happen. And even when there isn’t one of these huge, catastrophic spills, abandoned mines leak millions of gallons of waste into streams. These colors indicate
heavy metal contamination that poisons aquatic life and taints drinking water. A lot of the economy that this region was based on was getting gold and silver out of
these hills and it left of a legacy of pollution. The cleanup costs taxpayers
millions of dollars long after mining companies take their profits and leave. Twin metals plans to store the waste from its mine right here: next to a river
that ultimately leads to the Boundary Waters. And instead of storing wastewater
in a pit, their plan is to dry out the waste and store it in stacks like these. On its website, Twin Metals calls the dry stack method “environmentally friendly,” but to support that, they point to another dry stack mine in Alaska, where the verdict isn’t actually that clear. The Alaska mining company’s own data
show that lead contaminated dust is blowing off the dry stacks, and they’ve
acknowledged that it could be getting into the water. And in aquatic life near
the mine, scientists found elevated levels of arsenic, lead, and mercury. Just like the Alaska mine, the Twin Metals mine would be surrounded by
interconnected waterways. Any pollution would spread far beyond the initial impact site. All this is why, in 2016, the Obama
administration decided the risks of copper mining here would be “unacceptable,”
and said that Twin Metals couldn’t do it. But two years later, the Trump
administration reversed that decision. Tonight I’m proudly announcing that we
will soon be taking the first steps to rescind the federal withdrawal in
Superior National Forest and restore mineral exploration for our amazing
people and miners and workers. In the 1980s, the iron mines of northeastern Minnesota started to close. These days unemployment there has gone as high as 90%. Of the 15,000 union men and women who work the Iron Range mines, more than 3,000 are laid off
and hundreds more jobs are in jeopardy. A full-scale depression forcing thousands
of miners to abandon the area. When the layoffs happened in the mine, we were all hit. Everyone was hit, day care was hit, the hairdresser was hit, the
grocery store was hit, not just the people that were laid off. That’s because mining jobs tend to not stick around. I actually worked in several different
states in the mining industry. And one of the things I noticed, when I go back to
the places where I worked 20 years ago, none of those communities are thriving. You don’t build long-term prosperity on a mining industry. Industry and
conservation have always fought over the best use of our public lands, and the
people closest to those lands often have differing visions for their own future. This proposed mine really puts the sustainable wilderness-edge economy, that we have going right now, at risk. And it definitely puts businesses like mine at risk. Jobs are scarce up here. Good jobs, I should say. Ones with benefits, where you
can raise a family, put money aside for your retirement. So this is a very good hope for us. For our towns, our families, our kids. In a speech in
1908, Teddy Roosevelt took stock of America’s industrial progress. “We have
become great in a material sense because of the lavish use of our resources,” he said. “But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our
forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted.” More than a hundred years later, many of the most impressive human inventions, including those that could ultimately eliminate the need for fossil fuels, still depend on resources like copper. Resources that will run out someday. The question isn’t really whether to let companies mine for copper near the Boundary Waters. It’s whether the short-term gains are
worth changing places like this forever.

100 thoughts on “America’s wilderness is for sale

  1. Greed people this is what greed does to you. Next time you think about taking or needing something self check yourself… do you really need it or are you being greedy.

  2. If america is rich, why people are job less and if they need job why destroy your richest wealth for a short term gain, its confusing.

  3. Gas and oil just refuse to run out, old reserves fill up again. They may be renewable after all. We don´t need horrible windmills and solar panels on a large scale. If we homestead and live a more rural life, there´ll be a huge drop in demand for things like copper.

  4. The only place in the WORLD with a million acres of untouched nature? There are so many places like that in the world.. First example I could think of is Saimaa in Finland.

  5. Why American people are so blind they cannot see the danger of this orange-faced individual? Just the way he speaks makes me shiver.

  6. How could you possibly risk a forest of this size when it’s been protected for so long. There are less risky ways to get copper if we recycle. once that forest goes it open up the rest of the national forest to the same treatment!

  7. How can you own anything that has been here for millions of years and will be here for millions more? You can't. That's how.

  8. Depends, where else can we get copper? If it just came down to copper from here or preserving this park and there were no other options, 110% the copper wins.

    Only spoiled Americans who don't know how the world works, and take everything they have for granted, would say otherwise. I would not be surprised if, when it comes down to it, they would pick their phones (which obviously uses copper like most electronics) over these parks, despite all their virtue signaling comments.

  9. Your saying A person can dip a cup in the lake
    And drink it, that was not just you that's everyone
    In almost every lake 20years ago not too long
    But nobody other than we did this to our lake
    If we didn't get it fix now you better watch out

  10. The author of the real fresh while 2010 written book "Grown – Matthew B." is the probably will be creative of too early available "Cyberpunk 2077"…

  11. What do we need more? A better economy or actually having any wilderness in the future. The wilderness is the reason why we are here and we can’t protect it???

  12. Doesn't seem like America's president knows that it's not just all about the money. But that's what you get when you elect a business man to office.

  13. Mankind's nature is corrupt and full of greed, there is no hope; unless we change our nature. The want for things unnecessary supplant the need for the true things necessary of mind, body and spirit.

    If we found the technology to circumvent the need to mine, it's possible to avoid this one pollution. But ultimately mankind's nature is destructive and self annihilating.

  14. Why do we put profit before the beauty and stature of some of the greatest wilderness assets in the United States? Why do we have such a short term view of our blessings, and not protect and care for our country and our land? How is it we value more money in our pocket today, over the long term safety of our environment and country tomorrow? Do we care so little for ourselves and our children and children's children to RISK this mining endeavor? We could stop it if we really cared. I respectfully write this with the hope my words and sentiment will be read, and real thinking, and CARING will result.

  15. Yes and no. I lived in remote Montana for a while. Seasonal jobs means 25k for a 3-4 month season. Thats usually a major boost of income to small towns like that. The rest of the year they are working their regular jobs.

    Seasonal money is a necessary influx of cash.

  16. Why can't you bring a drone out there exactly? They don't pollute. What makes bringing the drone out there any different than bringing a cell phone or the camera you shot this on? Also, whos gonna stop you?

  17. I’ve been there with Boy Scouts we saw tons of people and everyone loved it I’m from Wisconsin but I saw people from Colorado Florida Connecticut and Washington. The companies will just take pollute and repeat somewhere else.

  18. jajaja must come to costa rica…wanna taste real fresh water, must come to costa rica, best water in central america, been drinking water from CR rivers 100% pure since i was a child no flu no medicines required last time I was sick was like 10 years ago and yes 4 free.. pura vida .. enjoy life

  19. Read Tolstoy's Kingdom Of God Is Within. He knew generations ago the capitalism is evil. Einstein wrote of overcoming evil capitalism also. Property is theft.

  20. The Trump administration does not make laws,that is what congress is designed to do, not waste time trying to impeach a president to advance their socialist agenda

  21. Copper used in electric cars, wind turbines, and solar panels. There goes our sustainability plan. Once we transition into green energy, most of the copper will be gone and a lot of our forests destroyed. Very sad 🙁

  22. Hypocrisy at its best everyone commenting on this using the modern conveniences of industry to bash the world they benefit from. Y’all the same ones running to get a new iPhone every year. You’re the problem supply only comes from demand.

  23. where will we ever find such a beautiful place?..we are all destroying it…its a part of our lifes even me writing this am a part of it its a system already set up…even the environmentalists trying to change this are part of it they do have phones etc and guess what they contain inside?…to change this we have to change as a human race and be more creative…and guess what you may try to escape but they will catch up to you …the world is changing in a way that if you dont do what they want you to do.. you are past tense….when this ends we all end….but tbh tho how many people wanna go drink that water it sounds too good to be true😂😂

  24. Meanwhile the bush’s continue to buy and own the land in South America over thee biggest aquifers in the world . They are lining up their ability to corner the clean water market ??

  25. I understand the need of money for the lady and her state but what’s going to happen to them once the copper is all gone? Do they leave their kids with a messed up area to live for the rest of their lives? I don’t envy them and their decision that they have to make.

  26. You don't even kow the name of your own country? What You really wants to say is that "the wilderness of the United States of North America is for sale". Not "the wilderness of America". There is a huge geographic and conceptual difference between the two things, "America" and the "United States of North America".

  27. Humanity needs to reduce consumption altogether because the Earth is finite. It will run out of everything eventually and if we aren't more careful, that time will come sooner than later.

  28. the sad thing is, will people bother to undo/stop this once trump is out?
    I don't know that we have drinkable lakes ANYWHERE in Europe. Maybe in scandinavia or something

  29. When the Last Tree Is Cut Down, the Last Fish Eaten, and the Last Stream Poisoned, You Will Realize That You Cannot Eat Money

  30. can someone send me the link of where to buy this? I'm trying to find a place to put the world's largest taco. this seems perfect.

  31. All these people complaining but are still using phones/probably lives in houses ect. Wonder when you guys are going to do something.

  32. so is it just a coincidence that all of these national parks sit on top of vast deposits of natural resources?   is about preserving nature or keeping tabs on the country oil, gas, and metals?

  33. Well, listen again to the last question at the end of video: doesn't make really sense, because the equation here really is complex:
    "wether a short-term gain is worth changing this place for ever". Using american copper (instead of chinese, destroying chinese landscape) for american renewable technology, is maybe somewhat short-term but it helps fight global warming and changing all the earth for "ever" (long term damage). And also, pollution isn't forever, nature is strong, cataclysms like volcanoes can cause massive pollution too. Nature always finds its way.
    The question is rather: is it worth preserving a local natural area at the expanse of other countries' natural areas and health, and/or at the expanse of the whole world by slowing down the renewable energy revolution ? A taugh one, for sure.

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