Spool-Minder the answer to lost leader

It’s one of fishing’s mysteries. Wind leader nice and tight on each of those spools in your spool container. Stick the container in your bag and leave it there undisturbed for a week. Then return to find that leader has not only worked itself loose on each spool but has somehow seeped out of the spool bag, leaving the latter looking like it’s been immersed in a spider’s web.

By that stage, the first two feet of leader on each spool are so kinked and coiled as to be good only for early retirement.

This home-made gizmo, while employed on tying thread in this demo, looks like it could be easily adapted to bring that leader nightmare to a close…

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Wiping out lakes to create jobs

Am I really that much of a loony Leftie to be slightly uncomfortable about this?

“A mining company was given the go-ahead by the Supreme Court on Monday to dump waste from an Alaskan gold mine into a nearby 23-acre lake, although the material will kill all of the lake’s fish

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, whose name may ring a bell, hailed the decision as “a green light for responsible resource development”. What a Sarah Palin ‘scorched earth’ policy would look like, I shudder to think.

For those against the decision, however, there is at least a new battlefront on which to pitch their tents.

“The court ruling “confirms that this thoroughly studied permit and plan is the best environmental choice” for disposal of the mine’s waste, said Tony Ebersole, the company’s director of corporate communications. Company lawyers said in court arguments that after mining activities are halted the lake will be restocked.

“The lake will be as good or better as a fishery than it is today,” Ebersole said”

A promise for which Mr Ebersole and his boardroom colleagues should be hounded to the ends of the Earth until they have delivered on it to the letter.

And I won’t pretend I’m holding my breath.

Oh Canada…dumping dispute rumbles on

Following on from the recent report on Canadian plans to dump mine waste in selected lakes, we start getting down to the nitty-gritty with this story of proposals to dump nickel waste into a Newfoundland water.

Disclosure time – I hold shares in North American companies in the energy and raw materials sectors. It’s an area of the market whose products I can at least understand and sooner or later we will all have to start addressing the problem of a world that can no longer take its resources for granted.

I mention this so that I don’t just come across as some thoughtless tub-thumper who views the world solely down the length of a fly rod. Somewhere out there, there’s a happy medium between keeping the planet running and keeping it healthy and while I’m frequently cynical as to how committed some companies are to locating it, I wave the Green flag in my own small bid to keep them honest and not merely as some anti-capitalism rant.

That’s why, when I read about the fate of Sandy Pond, I believe that the key quote comes from someone else who’s looking at both sides of the equation:

“On his back deck, Gerard Brothers points to a one-kilometre-long heap of slag jutting out of Placentia Bay, the remnant waste of the phosphorus plant.
‘I grew up with pollution and I don’t want to see no more pollution,’ the 52-year-old said.
With his daughter and wife out of work, Brothers says he struggles as his family’s sole breadwinner.
‘I should be one of the ones that want to see this, shouldn’t I? Not for the environmental cost,’ the high school caretaker said. ‘If that plant is coming over here, I don’t want to live here.'”

‘Mining industry spokesman’ just another string to my bow

It’s a light I normally keep under a bushel but every so often I am compelled to ‘moonlight’ as unofficial interpreter for Big Business.

When your working day is geared towards making as much money as you can before high-tailing it to Maui with all those lovely share options the demands of commerce, it’s easy to overlook the importance of clarity and communication that we media hounds take for granted.

With passions already running high in wake of the move to use Canada’s rural splendour as an industrial toilet, for example, it would be easy, in the heat of the moment, for The Mining Association of Canada to be misconstrued when it says

“In some cases, using natural water bodies has been shown to be the most effective method to manage and mitigate environmental risk associated with mine waste and tailings materials.”

So I’m only to happy to step in at this juncture and have a stab at what I think they’re really trying to say:

“Hell, hide stuff on a lakebed and it could be years before the cracks show, by which time we’ve all taken early retirement and it’s someone else’s problem. Stick it above ground for all to see, on the other hand and we’ve got the world and his wife beating a path to our door by Friday. Can you spell ‘no-brainer’..?”

I’m a little rusty, admittedly, but I think that’s about the gist of it.