Gary Juffa | MP and Governor
4 September 2012
The clever arguments presented by Canadian Seabed Mining pioneer Nautilus Minerals assuring everyone following this matter who bothers to take them seriously enough to read or listen to their drivel “all is well” and “PNG stands to benefit” and “certainly there will be no repercussions” and “we care” and so forth and so forth are enough to make one dry wretch for several hours.
One can also get nauseous listening to the rhetoric of Chamber of Mines boss zealot, Dr. Ila Temu, a Papua New Guinean who enthusiastically dismissed the concerns by Non-Government Organizations, Environmentalists, Experts of Marine Life and Water, Scientists and Members of Parliament opposed to the project on behalf of their people and the country as being ridiculous and “discouraging to investors”.
Dr. Temu is one of very few (less than 5, I counted) Papua New Guineans batting for Nautilus Ltd on the premise of “change and development – at whatever cost”.
Meanwhile anyone wanting a lesson in confusion regarding this issue can speak to Greg Anderson who is quoted by the media as saying something to the effect: “look we know it’s not working but the current laws “ensure benefits for everyone” and the current system is “one of the most equitable in the world” (Malum Nalu). Greg is neither a Papua New Guinean nor does he really care, he is one of many neo colonialists thriving in Papua New Guinea, enthusiastically pimping PNG’s mineral resources through the mining lobby and not necessarily to the highest bidder.
Now according to Nautilus Ltd and its friends, apparently, Papua New Guinea is crazy to not embrace this great opportunity with zeal and delight and proclaim from the highest mountains that they are the first in the world to be have been chosen for this awesome opportunity to have this oh so wonderful project that will threaten a substantial population of its marine life and the very existence of Papua New Guineans living along the coastline and islands of various parts of its geography!
Nautilus Ltd is confused that Papua New Guineans are so concerned about their environment and future. Their executives have gathered like whales about to be beached asking in growing chorus “what is going on?! Why are these people so upset???! Why can’t they just let us take what we want as is the usual case since man ever discovered a shovel and precious metals??!?”
The project certainly raises concerns about all manner of life that exists in the vicinity, human, plant and creature. But Nautilus counters “Oh they don’t’ live there! Nothing lives there! Why are you so concerned? We are building your economy! Couple of jobs for your people as laborers, a trip for landowners to Cairns or somewhere nice, a classroom for your kids, maybe a banana boat or two of for your landowner uncle…Come on, just take those crumbs and go away like a good little banana republic/third world country/least developed nation/ex colony etc.. etc..!”
Well maybe not so explicitly but very close to that is what they are screaming at Papua New Guinea!
The mining fraternity in PNG is certainly up to date with the latest goings on in the world and swept up in the enthusiasm for profit. It is whipped into a recent frenzy along with their brethren mining enthusiasts around the world who dig and dump without a care, who prod and extract from the worlds innards with glee, largely by the demand for minerals of all sorts from China and India, the growing economies that are poised to become the new big boys on the block in so far as world economics is concerned.
Meanwhile both nations are enthusiastically embracing Corporatedom, the new empire whose Mission is “Profit at whatever cost” and whose Vision is “The poor must pay for the rich”. These nations’ economies gears have shifted into hyper-drive as they demand the membership of the ruling executive class of Corporatedom, meeting the necessary criteria by pumping out substantial volumes of pollutants (such as humans) into the earth and it’s atmosphere at alarming rates, rapidly depleting the ozone layer and destroying, eliminating into extinction and constantly endangering all manner of life including humans at a speed never before known to earth.
All over the landscape of these twin competing economic powerhouses, giant factories crop up like weeds overnight in China and India, churning out all manner of goods, junk, hazardous material in the name of “progress” as their wealthy class take on the rest of the world. Ferraris, Porsches, mansions and castles, the latest ridiculous fashion and perfumery at equally ridiculous prices, opulent lifestyle, 7 star hotels, private jets and super yachts, rare and exotic animal pets, priceless art drive the wealthy to insanity imagining that the world surely owes them whatever they demand to satiate their appetites to feed their egos, the collective of which is the lifeblood of Corporatedom.
And to these characters in this evil play which will surely run until either the final curtain is drawn on the chapter that is Mankind’s existence on planet earth, Papua New Guinea is but merely a location where the lack of proper laws and regulations and authority and its enforcement are coupled with innocently ignorant people, whose leaders seem to care not for their future or welfare or have the political will, allow for the greatest profit margins in the extraction of raw resources found on this nation or in it and within its surrounding seas and now even under it too…
The mining and recently the energy extraction elements of Corporatedom have been the primary beneficiaries of this situation in Papua New Guinea, taking whatever they wanted, paying a pittance and leaving destroyed ecosystems, giant holes in the ground and bitter land owner disputes along with social upheaval and decimated cultures.
The New Ireland Province has been a recipient of this attention on a few occasions with giant Goldmine Lihir Mine being the most well-known project. New Ireland is a tropical paradise. Its beauty is breathtaking. In fact, on its website, the New Ireland Provincial Government boldly and proudly declares about this island province of Papua New Guinea:
“One of the last natural frontiers” aptly describes New Ireland, one of the most diverse and untouched regions on earth. Whether nature, culture or exercise excites you, your New Ireland experience will be a lifelong travel highlight!”
This maybe about to change if Nautilus Ltd has its way…
Somewhere of the coast of New Ireland, in its myriad of surrounding coral reefs, a feisty clown fish swims around its coral home, guarding it enthusiastically, attacking and chasing away all that cometh, whatever size and specie, fearlessness and determination in his every move in his clean pristine water world….a true Papua New Guinean…