Mining isn’t ‘bestial’

In the May 2 edition of the Yukon News, Marc Leduc wrote, "I can only imagine the disgust a young, urban professional visiting from Toronto or New York...

In the May 2 edition of the Yukon News, Marc Leduc wrote, “I can only imagine the disgust a young, urban professional visiting from Toronto or New York would have viewing this pollution left from days when North Americans engaged in bestial activities such as mining, transportation, engineering and such.”

Excuse me?

A city the size of Toronto or New York produces far more pollution in a single day than a mere 32,000 Yukoners do in a single year, therefore a resident of Toronto or New York is much more accustomed to living with the “bestial activities” of mining, transportation and such than we Yukoners are.

And how would a young urban professional from Toronto or New York ever get to be a visitor to the Yukon in order that he or she could be disgusted at the “absolutely horrifying mess” at

the Old Utah rail yard?

Why, by having to stoop so low as to use the “bestial activities” of the transportation industry. That’s the same way you arrived in the Yukon, Mr. Leduc.

And what process occurs to allow so many people being transported around? Why the “bestial activities” of engineering and mining, of course.

Engineers design machines that enable young urban professionals from Toronto and New York to visit the Yukon.

And the “bestial activities” of the mining industry provide the materials that are necessary for these machines to be manufactured.

Mr. Leduc, the “bestial activities such as mining, transportation, engineering and such,” are as vital to you as the air you breathe.

Ever since the day of your birth, your entire life has been made possible by the “bestial activities of mining, transportation, engineering and such.”

You cannot flush a toilet, turn on a light switch, open a refrigerator, start the engine on your fossil-fuel-burning, carbon-producing automobile without being a part of “bestial activities such as mining, transportation, engineering and such.”

The Yukon News has devoted much print space towards criticizing the Yukon mining industry, criticism made possible thanks to clearcut logging and dioxin-producing pulp mills, and of course the “bestial activities” of the transportation industry.

Have you ever driven (or been driven in) a car? Ever flown on a plane? Or been in a boat? Or a train perhaps?

Do you have a heated home? A computer? A job? A family?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then in my opinion your daily activities are no less “bestial” than miners, engineers, mechanics or truck drivers, airline pilots, railway conductors or boat captains.

Mr. Leduc, I am a proud Yukoner.

I was born here, I was raised here, I have always lived here and in all probability I will most likely die here and will most certainly be buried (or cremated) here.

I travel the world but the Yukon will always be my home.

And I also have been fed and clothed and employed by the Yukon mining industry since the day of my birth.

I am also an avid offroad enthusiast, which in your mind also makes me a “troglodyte.”

And this proud Yukon-born stripminer will not have you use the Yukon News to label me and thousands of other hardworking Yukon miners, transporters and engineers as “bestial” and “troglodytes” without you hearing from me.

Until such time as you are willing to prove your environmental purity by living in a cave and dressing in animal hides, then you have absolutely no business in calling me “bestial” and a “troglodyte.”

Jon Wilkie

Dawson City