Does Rio Tinto know what you care about?

We want to hear from you — What would you say to Rio Tinto shareholders in London? Share your concerns in the “comments” section below and we’ll share your thoughts on our website, Facebook, and at shareholders meeting and protests in London.

Save the Wild U.P.’s executive director, Alexandra, will be heading to London to voice community opposition to Eagle Mine at Rio Tinto’s annual shareholders meeting. She will be the 10th person from the Upper Peninsula attending this meeting to highlight the hazards and risks of Eagle Mine to our community and show the shareholders that we won’t “Keep Calm and Carry On” in the face of sulfide mining.

Alexandra will join activists from around the world, including Colombia, Mongolia, and South Africa, to protest and highlight Rio Tinto’s wretched environmental and labor record. You can follow her trip on Twitter @SavetheWildUP, and on Facebook.

This is made possible by a special fund created by activists specifically for this trip and we are grateful for their support.

7 thoughts on “Does Rio Tinto know what you care about?

  1. If this expansion of the Eagle Mine in our beautiful upper peninsula goes through, I want a show of hands of the shareholders who are willing to let us story the resulting pilings and uranium waste in their neighborhoods!

  2. I truly wish Rio Tinto and their shareholders could be educated as to the beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and the *intrinsic* value of the U.P.’s intact environmental systems. Rio Tinto’s motto (“Pursuing greater value for shareholders”) speaks volumes about their current corporate priorities.

    Perhaps you might mention that when The Economist (that notorious hippie zine) ran a debate about the economic valuation of wilderness, they concluded “This house believes that untouched wildernesses have a value beyond the resources and other utility that can be extracted from them.” Or suggest they review the numbers on the World Bank’s “Water Resources” investment portfolio (+2 billion in 2011). Please share with them this quote from economist John Loomis: “Converting natural wealth into a one time benefit of corporate profits is a major swindle which should outrage all of us.”

  3. 1 – communication of the fact-based risks and threats to the area. Rio Tinto seems to hammer on the “facts” as it pertains to regulatory compliance and ‘allowable levels’ of contaminants, etc. Just because it’s allowable, is it ‘good’? Grassroots messaging is unfortunately so often based on emotional and moral arguments versus facts around the real risks. These facts may come from independent quantitative analysis or anecdotal review of like situations elsewhere in the world. We desperately (I believe) need more tangible material to support the very real objections we have on a more long-term environmental / economic basis to the impacts of mining activity in the region.

    2 – Messaging to counter the “jobs and economy” smoke screen. Rio Tinto has barely begun their operations here and already there are talks of bonuses not being paid, contracts being reallocated to lower-cost, out of state contractors, layoffs and reassignments. Yet the PR hype continues to perpetuate the illusion of “their” goodness as the great white benefactor to an economically challenged region.

    3 – Undermining their ‘roadmap’ – strong messaging that the continued expansion of their operations both at the existing sites and other potential sites throughout the region will be met with as much opposition, questioning and advocacy for the earth, the environment and the truth as can be mustered by a small but passionate group of people.

    4 – Paint a picture – of the ‘price’ of the shareholders’ fortune. Let them feel and see and hear the voice and the splendor of the environment upon whose destruction their several cents a share potential profit is built…..

  4. Have the shareholders vote to have all Rio Tinto employees, in Michigan, and their families drink the water that is being extracted from the ground for the operations at the proposed Eagl Mine.

  5. Without the wonder of the wild we lose. With pollution, we lose. Your children lose. The world loses. Your choice of money over caring is beyond sick. You will become sad, if you choose to further destroy our environment. Please care. Please stop, for the sake of those you care about, at the least. Thank you for your caring and intelligent response to our rational request.

  6. Personally, I don’t blame Rio Tinto. I think Rio Tinto is acting in precisely the way we would expect a company to act in a capitalist system. I blame the State of Michigan for failing to consider the actual value of non-monetized natural ecosystems. I blame the Michigan legislature for failing to provide stricter environmental regulations, when Michigan is particularly well-suited to protect the Great Lakes, one of our nation’s greatest and most valuable resources. I blame the local governments and local supporters, who fail to recognize the enormous risks and the fact that Nickel mining can easily be done in far less dangerous locations. I still can’t understand why mine supporters in the Upper Peninsula can’t see that while the Rio Tinto shareholders are getting rich, the Upper Peninsula is being decimated, and the only thing the residents are getting in return is a handful of jobs and none of the profits.