Recent letters have justified the proposed Raven coal mine on the grounds that mining coal to produce steel satisfies the demand for products upon which our culture depends. There is no denying that we currently depend on steel products.
What if we don’t assume all steel needs to come from virgin ore? What if we apply the tenets of conservation — reduce, reuse, recycle?
Could we reduce the need for steel products by reusing them — that is, extending their lives or re-purposing them rather than discarding them? Could we reduce the resources that we deplete by using only the amount that we need and finding alternatives to lessen our use? Could we begin to wean ourselves away from products made of non-renewable resources and make this mine unnecessary?