For those who read the tiny stories in the back of the Finance section of world newspapers, a recurring theme is apparent. Yet another internationally owned central American mine development has been held up by those blasted peasants. Strangely, these people prefer to cling to their primitive ways rather than move into the shanty town created for them down the mountain. They’re building makeshift roadblocks and sending their grandmothers out to stand in front of the giant trucks. And on our side of the great divide, it’s holding up business and upsetting the investors.
On the one hand, environmentally attuned Canadians feel empathy for these people, who have been managing to live in a modest manner yet fill their needs. But on the other hand … how are we going to keep buying all our gizmos if we haven’t got those metals? We need more little tools than ever to get by. In the old days, a telephone and a typewriter got us through. Now we need phones that takes photos, printers to print them, laptops and blue tooth headsets and flash drives and rechargers and ipods and cables. And we need a lot of them. They don’t have to last – we can afford to buy more if these break down. They’re cheap.
Somewhere, a bulldozer is poised at the edge of a jungle. Somewhere, a family stands at the edge of their farm where the tailing pond is going to be. I hope these people know this is for a worthy cause. I hope they know that little sis is able to download all her favourite music now, and that brother Jim can now play computer games lying down on his bed instead of sitting up at a desk. I hope they realize that mom can just phone home from the grocery store instead of making a paper list, and that dad can keep all his addresses in one tiny handheld device. And that everyone can turn the TV channel without even getting up.
They’d understand if they knew all this, wouldn’t they?