tommy.jensen@sbs.su.se johan.sandstrom@ltu.se

Storyteller #13 – smoke and sustainability


Storyteller #13 is a woman, working in a white-collar position. We asked:

– When you look at the mine, what kind of images do you get (in your head)?

– When you come back from the mountains, we’re very often in the mountains to ski, so when we drive back into town, then you have the view of the (the old) open pit and the backside of the works, which you don’t see from town. Then we use to look and try to decide if there’s a lot of smoke, is production good or how does it look? It’s still the lifeblood in society. I think most feel that they want the mines and the operations to do well.

– Another type of question. If you read about mining, and we’re, and have been for many years now, interested in sustainable development, and efforts to run a “sustainable mine”, how do you think about that? I’ve to be honest and say that it sounds like an oxymoron, a self-contradiction.

– Yes, of course, sure it is. You cannot do a, you cannot have a mine without making a hole and a serious wound in the ground and in nature. You cannot have a mine without having a large environmental impact from the mine. But at the same time, those who protest against mine operations, such as in the large riots in Kallak, Jokkmokk, they still want a mobile phone, they want to bike, they make use of trains and they use vehicles and transports, and they maybe fly from the south of Sweden to get up here. They make use of societal structures and such, then we need these metals and products that come from the mining operations. We need them, and at the same time we have chosen a way of living that demands these resources, these natural resources. I believe that if you want these resources within the country’s borders, then you have to show solidarity and use part of your land for this in order to extract these resources from the ground. Globally, it might even be good to have a mine and mining operations in Sweden where you have grand rules that are environmentally adapted, that enable a somewhat more sustainable mine than what they perhaps have in Brazil.

[see also post from May 25, 2015, on checking the plumes of smoke]

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