As we look around us, there are many common daily necessities that have been harvested from the Earth. Our car, our computer, our cell phone, pots and pans, and even the roads we drive on, all have one thing in common. They all involved disturbing the land and the “exploitation” of natural resources.
Almost everything we have comes from mining, drilling, logging, or farming, and despite that these industries are increasingly under attack from regulators and environmentalists. No doubt nobody wants a repeat of the massive pollution caused by earlier mining techniques, oil rigs dotting our landscapes, or clear-cut forests, but these industries have gone to great lengths to become more environmentally sensitive and much less intrusive. However, they are still under attack based on images from long discarded practices.
Regulatory and local opposition groups are making it nearly impossible for new mining and logging companies to exist, despite the fact that society desperately needs new supplies of petroleum, wood, and gravel. Farming operations are under attack due to complaints of sights, smells, and flies, in addition to the use of compost in the growing process because of “fugitive dust” concerns.
These may all be messy industries, but they are all necessary. Increasing costs of our natural resources are costing all of us dearly, driving up the cost of building roads, schools, and homes, and they will continue to rise unless we start producing more of these resources domestically.
Instead of attacking loggers, miners, oil drillers, and farmers, making their life more difficult or accusing them of raping the earth, start appreciating the benefits we enjoy as a result of their labour.
Next time you see a miner walking down the street, don’t snub him, he deserves a hug instead.