If your cause is just…

The mining debate in Ely is far from over. Despite a bizarre headline declaring a truce in Ely, there are strong feelings on both sides. We saw this at the Twin Metals listening session at Washington Auditorium, we read about it on our letters to the editor pages.
To have a spirited debate is what this country is all about, the freedom to disagree is one of our greatest freedoms.
Having a long-running discussion over an issue can often lead to one side resorting to unreasonable tactics. That’s when it’s time to stop and reassess.
This past weekend at the Blueberry Art Festival, a booth from the Save the Boundary Waters group appears to have crossed the line. A petition against mining was apparently not bringing in enough people. In order to get more names, prizes were being given away. Sign the petition and you were entered into the drawing for the prizes.
The laws in the state of Minnesota involving gambling would almost certainly prohibit this behavior. At best it would be immoral. There were also children signing the petition.
If you believe your cause to be just, resorting to tactics such as these belittles your argument. If you have the facts and the truth on your side, why would you resort to such tactics?
The problem with an issue as big as mining is emotions get in the way. Emotions are not debatable.
At the listening session we heard numerous speakers fail to even address the issue at hand, whether Twin Metals should have federal leases renewed to continue to do exploratory drilling. Instead we heard how the BWCA would be destroyed if the Forest Service were to grant approval to the renewals.
This may come as a news flash to those who haven’t been paying attention, but exploratory drilling has been going on in northeast Minnesota for over a century.
Mankind’s curiosity to find out what lies beneath us may be largely conducted by private enterprise but make no mistake about it, our country’s past, present and future is reliant upon what resources are right here in and around Ely, Minnesota.
For those who believe Twin Metals (and other companies for that matter) should be able to take a look underground to see what’s here, there are no emotional arguments needed.
And as we have noted previously, it’s no secret that the powers that be in Washington D.C. are keeping a close eye on the deposits located here as well.
Whether it be for our national defense and/or our national economy, when our country develops a need for those minerals, emotional arguments and petitions by dubious means will be set aside.