Friday, January 31, 2014

Iron Range Alchemy, Iron to Copper?

There was no posting yesterday. One of the bugs floating around Minnesota this Winter got me good. If I were always in the shape I was in yesterday, I don't know how long I'd be sustainable.

Today, I'd like to call your attention to information on two other web sites. First, the Brainerd Dispatch, discovered via MPR on Twitter, has what I think is some of the best coverage I've read so far on the PolyMet project issues. If you care about a sustainable future for Minnesota, I'd suggest you read it. It summarizes a Wednesday night panel discussion about copper nickel mining and whether we can do it without trashing our environment. Go read it for yourself. We'll wait, because we're (editorial, not royal) increasingly frustrated that too much of our media coverage these days seems focused primarily on confrontation and conflict and presenting two sides to every issue without vetting the credentials of both sides. We deserve better and when I find it I want to call attention to it.

The other item worth taking a look at is a very information background piece from the Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education on the history of the Iron Range and the IRRRB and the continuing (and growing?) need to diversify northern Minnesota's economy. Finally, for today, Joyce Sutphen, our current poet laureate, notes another one of iron's qualities.

Evening Angelus

By Joyce Sutphen 

I have forgotten the words,
and therefore I shall not conceive
of a mysterious salvation, I shall
not become a tall lily and bloom
into blue and white. Then what
oracular event shall appear on
my doorstep? What announcement
shall crowd me to a corner,
protesting an unworthiness,
which doubtless shall be believed?

But these are only bells we hear,
pulled down by the arms of the
drunken janitor, two fingers missing
on his left hand. And we have
climbed into that tower, its spiraling
wooden staircase creaking beneath our
feet. We have seen for ourselves
that it is only iron that rings, iron
swinging on an iron bar, the rough rope
threading down to the cold ground,
no death or holiness in
those hollow shells.

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