WWJD about “Acid Mine” – Biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann to discuss controversial sulfide mine proposal & the Bible’s environment messages during October visit to Marquette area

Michigan politicians refuse to disclose how much money Kennecott Minerals has paid to non-profits run by political parties as it lobbies for a controversial sulfide mine permit that’s opposed by thousands of people including environmental groups, American Indian tribes

(Marquette, Michigan) – Famous Biblical scholar and author Walter Brueggemann will explore the “connection of the Bible and the environmental crisis” plus other northern Michigan ecology issues like a controversial sulfide mine proposal near Lake Superior during free public talks in the Marquette area in early October.

Public hearings are over but written comments will be accepted until Oct. 17 on a controversial proposal to open a sulfide mine near Lake Superior as Michigan lawmakers refuse to say how much money an international mining corporation is spreading around as it lobbies for a state permit.

Opponents of the project have labeled it the “Acid Mine” because the process of removing nickel and other minerals from the earth creates sulfuric acid. The Eagle Mine is proposed by the Utah-based Kennecott Minerals Corporation, an international mining company that critics say has one of the worst environmental records in the industry.

Opponents include numerous environment groups such as Save the Wild UP, the Cedar Tree Institute, the Turtle Island Project and Native American tribes like the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

Kennecott says it has developed a process that will prevent environmental problems, but opponent says the pristine Upper Peninsula – and specifically the Yellow Dog Plains in north Marquette County – should not be the Guinea Pig for unproven technology.

One geologist’s report questions whether the mine will collapse into the Salmon-Trout River as the operation bores 1,000 feet directly underneath the prime trout stream that is a Lake Superior tributary.

Proponents of the mine say it will create badly needed jobs and help Michigan’s faltering economy that has been hit hard by troubles in the automobile industry. Kennecott says at most the mine will create 100 jobs for about seven years.

Critics say the mine will barely make a ripple in Michigan’s economy and hardly compares to the thousands of jobs created by nearby iron ore mines that have lasted a century on the Marquette Iron Range.

Now questions are being raised about money paid by Kennecott to political non-profits run by Michigan’s Democrat and Republic parties.

“Kennecott has staged a well-crafted, pervasive, and entirely legal campaign to sell its project to the communities near the mine, and lobbied members of Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm’s administration and lawmakers whose districts are in the Upper Peninsula,” according to an investigation by the Great Lakes Bulletin News Service in an article written by Glenn Puit.

Michigan Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm has said little publically about the proposed mine.

The investigation revealed “another activity that, while legal, is shrouded in secrecy,” according to Puit’s article that appears on the Michigan Land Use Institute (MLUI) website.

“Kennecott donated cash to non-profit organizations controlled by the state Democratic and Republican parties, but refuses to reveal the amount,” according to the detailed article.

“Unlike traditional campaign contributions, donations to these organizations—known as 501 (c) 3’s, 501 (c) 4’s, or 527’s—are unregulated in Michigan; individuals and companies can give to them, even when operated by political parties or elected officials, without disclosing them,” the article states.

The controversial mine and other environment issues will be discussed in a series of free public lectures in northern Michigan during early October by noted biblical scholar and author Walter Brueggemann who explores the “connection of the Bible and the environmental crisis.”

“My presentation will consider the way in which the Bible empowers and calls us to care about our environment,” Dr. Brueggemann said. “The connection of Bible and environmental crisis is an invitation to a new, responsible sanity – after too much economic insanity.”

“Among those issues are mining that wrecks the land, deforestation and all the temptations to exploit our God-given resources,” Brueggemann said. “My work will be to show the biblical texts that matter – those texts draw very close to immediate issues of abuse.”

Rev. Warren Geier, pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Ishpeming, said Brueggemann has the “unique ability to speak to general audiences” and discuss relevant issues like protecting the earth because “for people of faith there is a theological component to environmental issues.”

“The perspective Dr. Brueggemann will be able to bring – that we have not heard much about in the sulfide mining issue” is the theological angle, Geier said. “We mostly heard about it as care of the environment versus the economy but for people of faith there is a theological component to this.”

Bruggemann “will shed insight – and help a better decision be made relative to whether this mine should go through or not,” Geier said.

“Using the Bible he will challenge the assumptions and certainties of both conservatives and liberals – issues like sulfide mining are not just about economics versus care of the environment,” said Geier, who is organizing Brueggemann’s visit.

Brueggemann will hold a free public lecture at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 8 at the University Center at Northern Michigan University on “Theology of Creation and the Environmental Crisis.”

Brueggemann will hold a second free public talk at 7 p.m. on Oct. 9 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Ishpeming. All Brueggemann appearances will be followed by public questions and comments.

The events are co-sponsored by the NMU EarthKeeper Student Team, Lutheran Campus Ministry and the departments of Philosophy and English at NMU, the Northern Great Lakes Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Bethany Lutheran Church in Ishpeming.

A world renowned Old Testament scholar and author, Dr. Brueggemann connects Old Testament scholarship to contemporary issues like the environment crisis. He has authored more than 58 books, hundreds of articles and several commentaries on books of the Bible.

Brueggemann participated in Bill Moyers acclaimed PBS television series on the Book of Genesis and is currently William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary.

For more information on Bruggemann’s visit contact Pastor Warren Geier at Bethany Lutheran Church in Ishpeming. Call 906-486-4351 or email: revwgeier@charterinternet.com

Dr. Brueggeman sites of interest:

Rev. Geier Press Release on Cath. Diocese website:

http://www.dioceseofmarquette.org/upcarticle.asp?upcID=1152

The Words:

http://www.thewords.com/articles/walterabout.htm

PBS:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/genesis/bios.html

Guest speakers:

http://www.januaryadventure.org/Public/Speaker%20Page.htm

Links to his schools:

http://www.januaryadventure.org/Public/Speaker%20Page.htm

January 2008 event:

http://www.ctsnet.edu/lifelong/calendar/index.asp?strMonth=subCurr&CURDATE=1/1/2008#January18

Faith & Reason great photo:

http://faithandreason.org/ab_wbrueggemann.htm

Nice story:

http://www.fourthchurch.org/downloads/FP0606.pdf

Brueggeman tribute book by Timothy Beal (scroll down):

http://www.timothybeal.com/Books.htm

Brueggemann unofficial fan site:

http://sunflower.com/~uman/

long list books:

http://www.thewords.com/articles/walterbooks.htm

Brueggemann background

http://www.thewords.com/articles/walterabout.htm

Brueggemann lecture:

http://www.mayfieldsalisbury.org/index.php/BrueggemanLecture

Wickipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Brueggemann

Books:

http://www.amazon.com/Walter-Brueggemann-Color-Scholarship/lm/289P1QDUQSBH5

Christian/Jewish site: “The end”

http://www.icjs.org/news/vol8/memorial.html

Brueggemann on hunger:

http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1191 

Dear Rev Warren Geier

revwgeier@charterinternet.com

Rev. Warren Geier

604 N. Third St.

Ishpeming, MI

Prof. Don Dreisbach

NMU Dept. of Philosophy

208 Cohodas Building

Phone: (906) 227-2512

Fax: (906) 227-2229

Prof. Don Dreisbach

ddreisba@nmu.edu

About yoopernewsman

I am a news reporter, writer and investigative journalist and began my career about 40 years ago as a young teenager in Augusta, GA after moving south during the middle of high school. I'm a news reporter, writer & investigative journalist specializing in street news, plus Indigenous, civil rights & environment reporting. Currently volunteer media advisor for numerous American Indian & environment related nonprofits that include the Navajo Lutheran Mission in Rock Point, AZ & its executive director Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard, the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute (CTI) in Marquette, MI & its many projects founded by Rev. Jon Magnuson, Author Joy Ibsen of Trout Creek, MI, Celtic Christianity Today (CCT) founded by Rev. Dr. George Cairns, the Turtle Island Project founded by pastors Hubbard & Cairns. In its third summer, the CTI Zaagkii Wings & Seeds Project & its volunteers built a16-foot geodesic dome solar-powered greenhouse that was built in this summer at the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) in an effort to restore native species plants to northern Michigan. It's located at the tribe's Natural Resources Department north of L'Anse along Lake Superior. During the summer of 2010, Zaagkii Project teens built & painted 25 beautiful reliquaries that are boxes made from pine & cedar that are used to store seeds for planting & included samples of Native American medicine including sweetgrass, cedar, sage & tobacco. From April-June 2009, I promoted the EarthKeeper Tree Project that planted 12,000 trees across northern Michigan. Co-edited "Unafraid," the second book by Author Joy Ibsen of Trout Creek, MI that was printed in May 2009 based on her father's handwritten sermons she found in shoebox. I edited numerous videos for nonprofit CCT. Began career 35 years ago as teenager in Augusta, GA after moving south during middle of high school. I was co-coordinator of the 1986 original James Brown Appreciation Day in Augusta, GA, where the Godfather of Soul was always trashed by local media who didn't report anything positive about the music icon. Mr. Terence Dicks was the other co-coordinator & most recently served as chair of the Augusta Human Relations Commission and serves on the Georgia Clients Council. Mr. Brown taught us to "fight the good fight" by battling all forms of racism & evil while not uttering a bad word about those who try to block justice, respect, fairness & kindness to all. As a child, I lived in the Harbert, Michigan home built by late poet Carl Sandburg, where the legendary author penned some of his greatest works including his Chicago works & Lincoln papers. The four-story home had a sundeck on the top & a cool walk-in safe in the basement. The neighborhood (Birchwood) has numerous cottages used for other purposes by Sandburg like the milk house where they milked goats. My parents remodeled fourth floor of the home that stands atop the Lake Michigan sand dunes/bluffs. They found items that belonged to Mr. Sandburg concealed in the walls including prescription bottles with his name, reading glasses, & a small, thin metal stamp with his name. I've worked for dozens of newspapers & radio & TV stations in GA & MI. I'm volunteer media advisor for several interfaith environmental projects involving Native Americans across Upper Peninsula of MI including the Turtle Island Project, The Zaagkii Project, the Interfaith Earth Healing Initiative, EarthKeeper Initiative & the Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project. The Zaagkii Wings & Seeds Project restores bee & butterfly habitat to help pollination of plants following death of billions of bees. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community youth & Marquette teens built butterfly houses, planted/distributed 26,000 native plants to help pollinators. The Earth Healing Initiative assisted EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge. EHI helped organize interfaith participation across eight states for the 100 plus recycling projects (April 2008) involving recycling millions of pounds of electronic waste & proper disposal of millions of pills/pharmaceuticals. EPA goals were exceeded by 500%. Under an EPA grant, EHI provided free media services for the cities/groups/tribes including videos & press releases. The EarthKeeper environment projects include an annual Earth Day Clean Sweep (2005-2007) at 24 free drop-off sites across a 400 mile area of northern Michigan that collected over 370 tons of household hazardous waste. The 2007 EarthKeeper Pharmaceutical Clean Sweep collected over one ton of drugs plus $500,000 in narcotics in only three hours. Some 2,000 residents participated & many brought in pharmaceuticals for their family, friends & neighbors. In 2006, 10,000 people dropped off over 320 tons of old/broken computers, cell phones & other electronic waste, all of which was recycled. In 2005, residents turned in 45 tons of household poisons & vehicle batteries. The Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project teaches teens to respect nature & themselves by having American Indian guides escort them to remote lakes & streams in northern Michigan to plant/care for wild rice. The teens test water quality to determine the best conditions for the once native grain to survive. The Turtle Island Project was co-founded in July 2007 by Rev. Lynn Hubbard of Rock Point, AR (Ex. Dir. of the Navajo Lutheran Mission) & Rev. Dr. George Cairns of Chesterton, IN, United Church of Christ minister & research professor for the Chicago Theological Seminary. TIP promotes respect for culture & heritage of indigenous peoples like American Indians. TIP is a platform for American Indians to be heard unedited by whites. Rev. Hubbard says whites don't have the knowledge or right to speak on behalf of Native Americans. I specialize in civil rights, outdoor, environmental, cops & courts reporting thanks to my late mentor Jay Mann (Jan Tillman Hutchens), an investigative reporter in Augusta, who lived by the books "Illusions" & "Jonathon Livingston Seagull." Love to fish, hunt, camp & skydive. Belong to Delta Chi national fraternity. I was active in Junior Achievement, band played cornet. With my dear friend, the Rev. Terence A. Dicks, we were the co-coordinators of the 1986 original James Brown Appreciation Day in Augusta, GA, where the Godfather of Soul was always trashed by the local media who found no reasons to print or report anything positive about the music icon. I am honored to help the human rights activist Terence Dicks - with some of his projects including the nonprofit Georgia Center for Children and Education - and the economic initiative he founded titled "Claiming A Street Named King." I am the volunteer media advisor for several environmental projects across Michigan's Upper Peninsula including EarthKeeper II - an Initiative of the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute in Marquette, MI. EarthKeepers II is an Interfaith Energy Conservation and Community Garden Initiative across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Goals: Restore Native Plants and Protect the Great Lakes from Toxins like Airborne Mercury in cooperation with the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, U.S. Forest Service, 10 faith traditions and Native American tribes like the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Previously known as the Earth Keeper Initiative - that project included many environmental projects including an annual Earth Day Clean sweep at two dozen free drop off sites across a 400 mile area of northern Michigan. The target of the 2007 Earth Keeper Pharmaceutical Clean Sweep are all kinds of medicines. In 2006, some 10,000 people dropped off over 320 tons of old/broken computers, cell phones and other electronic waste, all of which was recycled. In 2005, residents turned in 45 tons of household poisons and vehicle batteries. The Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project taught at-risk teens (just sentenced in juvenile court) to respect nature and themselves by having American Indian guides escort them to very remote lakes and streams in northern Michigan to plant and care for wild rice. The teens conducted water quality and other tests to determine the best conditions for the once native grain to survive. I have always specialized in civil rights, outdoor, environmental, cops and courts reporting thanks to my late mentor Jay Mann (Jan Tillman Hutchens), an investigative reporter in Augusta, who lived by the book "Illusions."
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1 Response to WWJD about “Acid Mine” – Biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann to discuss controversial sulfide mine proposal & the Bible’s environment messages during October visit to Marquette area

  1. Pingback: Save the Wild UP » Walter Brueggemann on the Proposed Kennecott Mine

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