Note the forward lean with the determined expression and slightly flexed supporting leg— the trademark flight stance of this endangered creature. This particular individual is clearly under intense duress. The wide separation between the big toe and second toe of the airborne right foot is a telltale warning sign to would-be predators to keep their distance lest they be trampled and tickled to death with the lethal head plumage.
Despite the dangers inherent in sequestering such a creature, there are those who seem to enjoy taking the risk. But who could be so brazen? A fearless lion from the African Savanna? An aggressive Siberian Steppe wolf?
That’s right. It’s the Canadian beaver.
The scheming beaver clearly has the advantage with its sharp teeth and paddle-shaped tail. One good spanking on the seat of the PNG government was all it needed to extract $118 million from the very people Canadian mining company Nautilus Minerals will use as guinea pigs in their deep sea lab experiment 30km off the coast of New Ireland.
Well I guess it’s a step up from being attacked by a group armed with guns and knives or tracked down by a group of men that includes a convicted rapist, as is the preferred tactic of other mining interests (see this Green Left Weekly article).
Thank Gaea Canada can still claim a “peaceful” approach! More like an approach full of pieces…toxic ones.
But the Papua New Guinea Pig is not as fluffy on the inside. The disguise is merely a clever trick to elicit an ego-driven sense of superiority from the untrained eye. Don’t let that smile fool you…it’s just for friendly tourists.
Note the cross-armed stance and serious frown of the real PNGP (Papua New Guinea People) in the video below.
Now let’s examine a quote from the Nautilus CEO stammering out his opinions.
“It’s a… it’s a low risk and…um…I think it also further states that…um…the risk of it moving…uh…into that upper layer where most of the fishing activity takes place is extremely low.”
Hmm. A stutter, two ums, one uh, and a “I think it…states” (but really I’m not sure).
And another quote: “What we found typically is…uh…there…there is a fear…uh…there is a lack of understanding and knowledge about what we’re going to be doing and it’s incumbent on us to make sure we do inform people properly.”
I agree there is a lack of understanding all right, but not on the part of the people. An ABC video report gives us a bit more insight on the operation and the ecosystem it is exploiting.
Yet the level of ignorance remains astounding as quoted from one of the scientists: “The activities that Nautilus are proposing are something like…um…ploughing a field or or raking your garden, that you’re, you’re, you’re stirring up the environment, but you’re not fundamentally changing it.”
Hmm. I wonder if he’s related to the Nautilus CEO?
An um and a couple of stutters throw suspicion on how he selected his analogy.
As shown in the ABC video, the remote control dust busters crush the 5,000 year old cones into bits, tubes send the crumbs and all life that was there up to a ship on the surface, a chemical cocktail leaches the copper and zinc out, and finally Nautilus Minerals dumps the tailings laden with mercury, selenium, and arsenic and their own special brew back down to the ocean floor.
Is that how you rake your garden?
But I think the most disconcerting statement of the whole report is this: “If Nautilus Minerals is successful it could spark a gold rush of sea floor mining in International Waters without knowing how to restore the habitats after mining.”
Forget about restoring habitats; scientists don’t even know what impact the toxin munching bacteria, snails, mussels, crabs, and over 500 species will have up the food chain or where the ocean currents will take the poison.
Wow! My fingers are at a loss for words.
Papua New Guinea Tumbuan via Papua New Guinea Tourism
Canadian Beaver via BreakingNews.ca