The Dissent from Within

March 26, 2007

Are corporate-types finally waking up to the need for enviromental responsibility?

Here is an extract from a Wall Street Journal article (behind a pay wall)

NONDALTON, Alaska — Soaring in his private plane above the pristine tundra here two years ago, Robert B. Gillam experienced a conversion: The money manager and pro-business Republican became an impassioned conservationist.
He took the flight after reading reports that a Canadian company planned to build North America’s largest open-pit gold and copper mine in Southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. The proposed Pebble Mine would stretch two miles across and be deep enough to swallow the Empire State Building. And it would be scraped from the headwaters of rivers that feed the world’s largest wild-salmon fishery.
So Mr. Gillam — whose Alaska investment firm holds more than $1 billion in mining stocks for clients — launched a second career. He has become the unlikely front man for a band of Native Alaskans, fishermen, hunters, environmentalists and business leaders opposing the project. Mr. Gillam, 60 years old, has helped pay for ads, lobbyists and polls to convince Alaskans that Pebble Mine could be an environmental disaster.
“Mining is no longer the ideal of a prospector with a pick-ax and pan,” he says, “but a dirty, industrial business.”