There are two schools of thought that predominate in discussions about whether or not Gogebic Taconite should create an open pit mine in northern Wisconsin ("Mining Bill Is Widely Misunderstood," 1/18/2013). Both can be considered rational and reasonable when analyzed in context.
On one hand, a mine would provide raw materials for products, and several decades of employment and monies for workers, their families and investors. On the other, a mine would result in environmental degradation on a massive scale, and a probable abrogation of treaties with Native Americans.
I suggest that there is a third talking point, to wit: Do those of us living today have the right to continue to obtain and consume on such a massive scale natural resources that are irreplaceable? Do those of us living today have a responsibility to leave for future generations some of the natural bounty, e.g. minerals and fossil fuels, cradled in the bosom of Mother Earth?
Our profligacy with regard to product creation and consumption is unsustainable in the long term. The voices of those who are asking for a sense of proportion and common sense with regard to consumption of natural resources deserve to be heard and respected in deliberations about this mining proposal. These voices are not a nuisance; they are commonsensical and mature. Bring another chair to the table.