×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Russian City Ever Watchful Against Being Sucked Into Earth

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the if-you're-not-part-of-the-solution dept.

Earth 110

Jeremiah Cornelius writes "Dmitry Rybolovlev bought the most expensive apartment ever sold in New York City — the $88 million penthouse at 15 Central Park West — and did much for local real estate values. But in Berezniki, the mining city where he made his fortune, properties have literally been plunging. 'Imagine putting a sugar cube in a cup of tea,' Mikhail A. Permyakov, the chief land surveyor for Uralkali, the company that owns the mine. 'That is what happened under Berezniki.' Berezniki is afflicted by sinkholes, hundreds of feet deep, that can open at a moment's notice. So grave is the danger that the entire city is under 24-hour video surveillance. In 2008 a government commission cleared Mr. Rybolovlev of wrongdoing, blaming past unsafe practices for the sinkholes. A senior official close to Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin says that Mr. Rybolovlev bears some responsibility, even though he sold the mine after the occurrence of the first great openings."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

110 comments

money talks (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39683263)

if one thinks the US has problems with wealthy, influential people, just look to Russia to see how bad it can get.

Re:money talks (4, Insightful)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 2 years ago | (#39683309)

if one thinks the world has problems with wealthy, influential people, just look everywhere to see how bad it can get.

FTFY

Re:money talks (1)

MrKaos (858439) | about 2 years ago | (#39684357)

if one thinks the world has problems with wealthy, influential people, just look everywhere to see how bad it can get.

FTFY

But since everyone wants to be one of these people no one want to have unions to represent their interests.

Re:money talks (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684415)

In my experience Unions are run by people who want to be Wealth influential people. They don't really care about the works they are supposed to represent.

Re:money talks (5, Funny)

MrKaos (858439) | about 2 years ago | (#39684459)

In my experience Unions are run by people who want to be Wealth influential people. They don't really care about the works they are supposed to represent.

Well your free to have your opinion Mr Murdoch.

Re:money talks (4, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#39685185)

In my experience Unions are run by people who want to be Wealth influential people. They don't really care about the works they are supposed to represent.

Well your free to have your opinion Mr Murdoch.

He's right though. If unions were about representing the worker, they wouldn't be so hard to leave or disband. Once they are created they care more about growing and consolidating their power and influence. I've seen firsthand the lengths unions will go to to try to stay in power. Harassing people at their homes, getting the NLRB to change rules to give them a better chance to get voted in, and complaining and charging interference when the company advertises to its employees when the vote is. Not who to vote for, just when it is. You cannot claim to represent the workers when you don't even want the workers to vote.

Re:money talks (2)

RodBee (2607323) | about 2 years ago | (#39685397)

Not every union acts the same way, you know. There are places with better unionist legislation where they work fine.

Re:money talks (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | about 2 years ago | (#39686443)

You can when the company runs around telling the workers if the union goes away their pay and benefits will increase. When reality is half of them will be laid off.

Re:money talks (1)

Fjandr (66656) | about 2 years ago | (#39689267)

Just because an employer doesn't represent an employee's best interest does not automatically mean an existing union does.

The fact that organized crime has long been involved with unions just goes to show they're a great vehicle for money and power. Those sorts of vehicles attract exactly the sort of people you don't want driving them. No, they're not all bad, but neither are they all good. The knee-jerk jumping to the defense of all unions when someone points out something which is both negative and true does not endear people to pro-union causes, any more than the opposite does to anti-union causes. It's perfectly reasonable to argue for the good while acknowledging that there is a dark side to many unions, much as the reverse can also be a reasonable position to hold.

Re:money talks (1)

MrKaos (858439) | about 2 years ago | (#39689155)

In my experience Unions are run by people who want to be Wealth influential people. They don't really care about the works they are supposed to represent.

Well your free to have your opinion Mr Murdoch.

He's right though. If unions were about representing the worker, they wouldn't be so hard to leave or disband. Once they are created they care more about growing and consolidating their power and influence. I've seen firsthand the lengths unions will go to to try to stay in power. Harassing people at their homes, getting the NLRB to change rules to give them a better chance to get voted in, and complaining and charging interference when the company advertises to its employees when the vote is. Not who to vote for, just when it is. You cannot claim to represent the workers when you don't even want the workers to vote.

Are you talking about US unions?

Re:money talks (2)

drsmithy (35869) | about 2 years ago | (#39685295)

In my experience Unions are run by people who want to be Wealth influential people. They don't really care about the works they are supposed to represent.

Though, with that said, aligning yourself with the people who are at least pretending to help everyone is more likely to produce a positive result for you than aligning with the people just blatantly fucking everyone else over.

Re:money talks (1)

Fjandr (66656) | about 2 years ago | (#39689291)

I prefer to know exactly where people stand, myself. So, I personally go out of my way to avoid working with people who make that their standard mode of operation if I find out that's what they're doing. At least with people who are blatant about fucking everyone over, determining my position of opposition is really quite simple.

Re:money talks (1)

c0mpliant (1516433) | about 2 years ago | (#39689599)

Which is more likely to find, a union that seeks to look after its members or a company who is willing to exploit its employees. I don't know about the states but where I'm from its easy to find a union that is genuine, so long as its not SIPTU

Re:money talks (1)

Fjandr (66656) | about 2 years ago | (#39689941)

The likelihood of one being greater than the other is irrelevant. I judge them each by their own merits, and don't stand in defense of all when an argument of wrongdoing is leveled at one. A knee-jerk reaction to see an indictment of specific behavior as an attack on an entire sector is irrational and counter-productive, in much the same way that using specific bad acts as a means to condemn an entire sector is irrational and counter-productive. Both are also too bloody common.

That said, finding links to organized crime or evidence of corruption is not that difficult in many cases, much like finding employer abuses is not that difficult in many cases.

Re:money talks (1)

ESL Atlanta (2586821) | about 2 years ago | (#39683403)

I appreciate with you. That's right, why we blame each other. You have to see the other countries people, what are the doing...

Re:money talks (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#39683457)

if one thinks the US has problems with wealthy, influential people, just look to Russia to see how bad it can get.

If one thinks it can get worse in Russia than it can here, just wait and watch.

Re:money talks (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#39684387)

The point is, it's the wealthy, influential people who are the problem.

Really? (2, Insightful)

drainbramage (588291) | about 2 years ago | (#39685163)

That was the point?
So, you get rid of the wealthy then everyone will be rich and there will be no crime?
Do I get a pony too?

Re:money talks (3, Interesting)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#39685221)

The point is, it's the wealthy, influential people who are the problem.

No, the point is it's the sociopathic people who are the problem. It just so happens that many of the rich happen to be sociopathic, but they can be seen in all strata of a society. They care only about themselves, and will enrich themselves at the expense of others. But it is unfair to say it is the wealthy that are the problem. Look at Warren Buffet, who advocates for heavy taxes on the wealthy, or Bill and Melinda Gates, who donate much of their money to charity. There are plenty of wealthy people that, while they still try to further their wealth (which is what "pursuit of happiness" originally meant), still believe they have social responsibilities to those less fortunate than them, or to the government.

Re:money talks (2)

RodBee (2607323) | about 2 years ago | (#39685491)

At the same time, Mr. Gates mega-corporation wage patent wars with everyone. And promotes blatant monopolism (this word does exist? My spell-checker seems to disagree) in its product.

The true problem isn't THE SINNERS. People are not essentially good or bad (even your so blamed psychopaths, for that matter) and are prone to make bad decisions (or even being oblivious to the bad decisions made in her name) from time to time. I don't know if Gates is a nice guy or is just trying to generate some good PR karma, and I won't pass judgment on it. The true problem is the system (damn, I didn't want to use the S-Word) tend do not consider the damage your actions make if they also result in more money, and you can always clean your bad name in the repentant media.

People get a free pass to punch a town full of holes and get away from it with a bad name, which can be erased if you so much as try to help the same town with the money the town made you.

Re:money talks (3, Interesting)

RCourtney (973307) | about 2 years ago | (#39684527)

FTA: "The largest sinkhole appeared in 2007."

I thinks its even worse than you think since the only reason this tycoon is being made an example of NOW is that he probably forgot to pay his dues and/or respects to soon-to-be-president-again Putin. At least that has been the narrative in the past when some wealthy Russian falls from grace.

In Soviet Russia, the corrupt decorrupt you.

Berezniki Golf Course (0)

toygeek (473120) | about 2 years ago | (#39683329)

Hole in one, guaranteed!

Please replace sinkho^H^H^H^H^H divots

Re:Berezniki Golf Course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39683409)

^W would save a lot of typing...

Centurion South Africa (3, Informative)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 2 years ago | (#39683341)

Sink holes are quite common in many places around the world. There are no mines under Centurion, yet a sink hole occurs multiple times per year in the dolomite areas.

Momma jokes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39683343)

His momma so big, a sinkhole isn't big enough to take her.

Or how about: His momma now jealous that her son has a bigger hole than she does.

Alright, I'll leave...

Re:Momma jokes (4, Funny)

Professr3 (670356) | about 2 years ago | (#39683361)

Don't quit your day job

If you have one

Re:Momma jokes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39683477)

OOH! OOH! I got one!
Yo momma so fat, her footprints are often mistaken for sinkholes! Go Go Momzilla!

“We will fight the holes with science" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39683393)

“We will fight the holes with science,” the mayor, Sergei P. Dyakov, said in an interview.

Meanwhile in America, we hold prayer vigils for rain.

Re:“We will fight the holes with science" (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#39683751)

I would fight the holes with my legs. And run and get the Hell out of that place.

The most appropriate time to use the hackneyed phrase:

"It's sinkholes. All the way down."

Re:“We will fight the holes with science" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39686591)

Meanwhile in America, we hold prayer vigils for rain.

What Professr3 said above:

Don't quit your day job

If you have one

Re:“We will fight the holes with science" (0)

dtmancom (925636) | about 2 years ago | (#39689223)

Mocking people who pray for rain is a worse waste of time as the actual praying for rain, since you, at least, should know better.

I'm not sure how this post fits into the "waste of time" hierarchy.

2012 (5, Insightful)

mutherhacker (638199) | about 2 years ago | (#39683399)

The year where an apartment in manhattan is sold for an amount that can feed a small country for a month.

Re:2012 (-1, Troll)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about 2 years ago | (#39684201)

And how many thousands of mouths did Mr Rybolovlev feed, for how many years, while creating his wealth? You tree-hugging liberal hippies keep forgetting that most of the revenues coming into a business go to employees salaries; entrepreneurs like Mr Rybolovlev get to keep only a small percentage of what's left after costs are paid. If they later decide to spend that money on overpriced real estate in New York, you should thank them for boosting the local economy instead of keeping the money under their mattress.

Re:2012 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684283)

citation needed

Re:2012 (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684445)

The potash mines employed many people for years before Mr Rybolovlev started skimming the profits off for his personal benefit (the mines opened in the 1930s as a Soviet work camp). Putting it another way, this stuff probably would have been mined whether or not Mr. Rybolovlev got involved, and it was mined for decades. He was just fortunate enough (*cough* corruption *cough*) to buy the mines for cheap when the government practically gave them away in the 1990s. This is a lucky opportunist, not a particularly skilled entrepreneur who cares about their employees. I'd be surprised if all the employees in his former potash business earn as much as he made from the deal (he sold it for billions). He's more concerned with whether he'll lose his $100 million yacht in his divorce.

Re:2012 (2)

MrKaos (858439) | about 2 years ago | (#39684381)

The year where an apartment in manhattan is sold for an amount that can feed a small country for a month.

It would probably build a fair portion of the city on the other side of the river 'where the bedrock is sound'

Re:2012 (3, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#39684923)

I understand your point, however two other points to keep in mind: 1) The money didn't disappear, it just changed pockets. 2) If you tried to spend that money to feed a small country that needed to be fed it, would almost certainly end up arming a warlord's henchmen. Don't worry about #1, solve #2 first.

Re:2012 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39685023)

Great point. The money does not disappear it does get redistributed in the form of purchasing something else. Nobody sits on 80 million dollars in cash, they have to invest it somewhere.

Even better point is Manhattan isn't just for the rich, the rich support one of the largest service industries in the world ranging from cab drivers, nanny's, delivery, restaurants, bars, doormen, construction and everything in between. People flee the their countries to come live here like kings in comparison to their previous lives.

The world is not black and white and money isn't the solution to hunger or happiness!

Re:2012 (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 2 years ago | (#39686185)

Great point. The money does not disappear it does get redistributed in the form of purchasing something else. Nobody sits on 80 million dollars in cash, they have to invest it somewhere.

Are you sure? Because a whole lot of people and entities are doing exactly this sort of cash hoarding right now.

Re:2012 (1)

Fjandr (66656) | about 2 years ago | (#39689349)

There are actually only a handful of entities which sit on large hoards of cash (the largest non-governmental organization being Apple). If you're referring to banks, the problem wasn't hoarding cash but rather the short-circuiting of the credit cycle on which the US (and much of the world) economy is currently dependent by not extending new credit.

Re:2012 (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#39687793)

The year where an apartment in manhattan is sold for an amount that can feed a small country for a month.

It's impossible - there's a fixed amount of NYC real estate, so the total value can't increase over time. The Keynesians have told me so!

In the west (5, Funny)

swamp_ig (466489) | about 2 years ago | (#39683439)

In the west you sink money into mining investments, in russia money in mining investments sink YOU!

We have the same problems in this country (5, Insightful)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#39683489)

Corporate profits always come first. Coal fires are a problem in some areas and at least one town had to be abandoned since the fires can last for decades and possibly centuries. Many towns had to be abandoned over industrial pollution and yet I constantly hear it's government regulations that cause the problems. How much of the planet do we sacrifice to greed? I'm not talking about halting progress this is about people cutting corners to make higher profits. Coal companies were supposed to have phased in safe guards to limit mercury and other heavy metals from being released but they ignored the regulations and now want them thrown out. A lot of cheap power depends on ignoring the problems it causes. In coal country areas near power plants have cancer rates through the roof. There's a price of pain and suffering. Often in the end the government ends up picking up the bill for health care and clean up. So long as corporations are protected and the people that run them are safe from being held accountable this will continue to happen. Change the rules and bankrupt the owners and corporate heads of the companies and see how fast it all changes.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 years ago | (#39683525)

Definitely looks like Russia has learnt the lesson of privatisation well. Privatise the profits and socialise the costs. How come when you buy an existing mine you get the profits but get to deny responsibilities for the mine, where exactly do they squeeze that nifty clause or is that just post contract corruption.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (4, Interesting)

DrKnark (1536431) | about 2 years ago | (#39683945)

There are a few places in Sweden where entire towns are in the process of being gradually moved due to the expansion of neighboring mines. The thing is, these towns were built _because_ of those mines in the first place, generations ago. The citizens don't mind, they actually support it, since they know their towns would become ghost towns without the mines.

That being said, from the sound of things this town should have undergone similar procedures a long time ago. But there is more than one side to this type of situation.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 2 years ago | (#39684009)

Sweden has a progressive tax system which pays for the move ... in Russia if you aren't connected to the government you're almost irrelevant, other than to be a moron to be manipulated to give Putin a shine of legitimacy.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39684275)

If the town would not be on top of the mine, these sinkholes in town would not appear and this would be non-news.

Guess why the town is on top of the mine? Because it was originally a Soviet labor camp and built on walking distance from point of prime interest, the mine in this case. It's quite hard to blame "privatisation" for this decision. Also, if these sinkholes would appear on a mine in the middle of Siberia with no population above them, nobody would care. Those wouldn't be even environmental issue - just holes in the ground.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39683735)

Ask yourself what is being done to the people that cause so much damage. Ask yourself why they are protected by regulations from actual restitution. Ask yourself why profit is defined not by the net value a company brings to society.

When you hear people denouncing statist regulation as the source of these problems and championing voluntary and peaceful solutions, all you have to do to see that it is true is to look at the definition of a corporation: it is a government enforced legal shield from liability. No amount of regulation(even supposing it is well meaning) can replace what is lost when government violently restricts the people in a society from choosing who they want to be operating in a given market. Protectionism does just that, it protects executives from actually having to serve customers, from serving society. If you want people to decide what is best for themselves(which might not be what you or I think is best, by the way), let them actually choose rather than the politicians. Violent mandates like regulations are at best a flawed attempt to mimic this process. More often, they are designed to further shield these corporations from the masses.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (1, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#39683833)

Corporate profits always come first.

- Oh, so you are telling me that the corporate profits come out of thin air, that people are not participating in this bargain deal, getting this stuff cheaply?

Many towns had to be abandoned over industrial pollution and yet I constantly hear it's government regulations that cause the problems.

- yes, it is government that is causing the problem in nearly all cases where mining is involved. Whose land is it?

The gov't holds this so called 'public land', well then how come corporations can mine on it? So it's the government that allows the corporations to mine on land that is held public. Same with oil drilling and the 75 Million USD liability cap on deep water drilling.

This IS a government created problem, because government holds this land and allows companies to come and to mine on it without actually participating in a market of any kind. The gov't sells licenses to their preferred companies and takes away liability and responsibility.

What should be done instead, government shouldn't be allowed to own any property, and definitely government shouldn't be holding property where anybody is allowed to mine on it at all.

Whatever land that gov't holds in 'public' possession where somebody wants to mine or do any business, this land has to be auctioned off.

What do you think would happen then?

First of all the land would be sold in small chunks, because nobody could afford to buy it outright. So it would be sold in small pieces to separate buyers, and they would own that property. They could mine it themselves, but many would lease it to be mined.

So this would not be a public problem anymore, the gov't would collect huge amounts of revenue from these auctions. Selling piece by piece for example, not allowing any mining on gov't 'owned' land, this could control the mining industry much more effectively than whatever gov't is doing right now, and this would bring more revenue to the gov't as well, though that is a bad thing of-course, but if that money was actually immediately earmarked for purposes of controlling any pollution running off such lands and making sure that if pollution spreads from those private lands to the public lands, responsibility would be immediately assigned.

There is an entire slew of reasons why in fact these are government created problems, and most of them have to do with corruption and moral hazards of removing liability and reducing costs of mining by completely removing the real market prices from the market, because government cannot ever discover REAL value and pricing of anything, because it never has to compete with any private entity bidding for the rights of ownership.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 2 years ago | (#39683933)

(...) if that money was actually immediately earmarked for purposes of controlling any pollution running off such lands (...)

Yes? And why would that suddenly happen just because the govt didn't own the lands? The "holy hand of the free market" would touch their hearts and make them immune to corruption?

Your "solution" doesn't solve the real problem.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (1, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#39683973)

Yes? And why would that suddenly happen just because the govt didn't own the lands? The "holy hand of the free market" would touch their hearts and make them immune to corruption?

- can't you read? I didn't say that would just 'automatically happen', I proposed something - that government is supposed to take care of property it supposedly 'owns'.

So when somebody pollutes and this pollution crosses to the 'public property', government would be liable to protect it but also would have the resources to do so, because these resources would come from the auctions of those pieces of 'public land' that would be sold on the market.

How did you read it that it was going to happen 'automatically', I do not know.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (1)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about 2 years ago | (#39684207)

Adam Smith is rolling over in his grave.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (0)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#39684227)

I said [slashdot.org] , government shouldn't actually own any so called 'public land', but if it owns it, it must protect it, otherwise what kind of a 'public land' is it, that it is not protected by the public and is given out to private companies to mine on as they wish and do with it as they wish? That's is a subsidy, socialising of costs, that is something that could force Smith to roll over in his grave.

THIS WAY FOLKS! SEE COGNITIVE DISSONANCE! (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 2 years ago | (#39685019)

Let's disregard the smaller stuff. Can't really comb the nonsense above sentence by sentence. Nor would we want to right?
I mean, when one touts "free market" claiming that people get things cheaply from corporations motivated only by profit, blindly disregarding the "what market can bear" principle of pricing... what can you do to such a person?

They are either lying their ass off to promote their own agenda, or they have a few of the wires in their noggin crossed.
And since I'm of firm belief that people ARE essentially good-natured and not evil pricks - I'm going with mental problems here.

government that allows the corporations to mine on land that is held public.

OK. Governments, which are the extension of the public (i.e. Of the people, by the people...) lease out land. Under very specific conditions.

This IS a government created problem, because government holds this land and allows companies to come and to mine on it without actually participating in a market of any kind. The gov't sells licenses to their preferred companies and takes away liability and responsibility.

See kids? This is the case of a mind not working properly.

Russian problem in TFA (I suppose we are still talking about that, but there MIGHT be a possibility that the poster above is having some other argument in his mind with that "This IS" of his.) arose from two things.
1 - improperly sealed chambers in the mine.
2 - freshwater flooding in.

Now, for number 2 you can only blame god. Fuck you god! There.
Number 1 on the other hand was responsibility of the corporation/company running the mine.
See kids, government does not "take away liability and responsibility" when leasing something. They TRANSFER IT.

As for government not "actually participating in a market of any kind" - that is called "irrelevant argument". [wikipedia.org]
Government does not need to "participate in the market" to protect the rights and well being of its citizens. You know - doing its job.
It's the government. They make laws and regulations for that.

Whatever land that gov't holds in 'public' possession where somebody wants to mine or do any business, this land has to be auctioned off.

What do you think would happen then?

Before we answer that, let's just point out that the poster is suggesting that the government (Of the people, by the people...) should take the land belonging to all citizens of the country and sell it to the highest bidder. Literally.
Which would, again literally, mean that the government should STEAL the public property in order to acquire profit.
You know... instead of doing their job, working for the greater good of all, they would act like a corporation - motivated only by profit.

Now... What would happen then?
Well... "because nobody could afford to buy it outright" it would be bought by international corporations and funds. Also, foreign governments.
So, add treason to stealing - country would not even have to be conquered to foreign inva.. buyers.

You know. Like what USA did to Russia with Alaska. Only now we would be talking ANY land ANY where.

And the rest of the post above is just "Oogily-boogily" crazy talk.
Governments not knowing "real" values cause they can't compete with private owners - as apparently that is a prerequisite to understanding math, economics, statistics and basically being able to add 2 and 2.
Governments getting more money which is good, but which is bad.

And lets not forget the solution for the gov-good-bad problem - investing ALL THE MONEY FROM THE SALE of the land INTO CLEANUP of the effects from mining.

Yup. That's the idea.
1. Sell public land to foreign investors stripping people of the country of any and all value that land may EVER have to them.
2. Let foreign investors mine the land and keep all the profit AND the land.
3. And as piece de resistance - use the money from the sale to clean up now privately owned foreign land.
4. Profit!

I guess the only thing missing is making sure that the new owners also do the cleanup - so that they could also get back the money they paid for the land.

Re:THIS WAY FOLKS! SEE COGNITIVE DISSONANCE! (-1, Flamebait)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#39685147)

Who are you talking to, don't you have a site to run [timecube.com] ?

That's right, government doesn't participate in market, and it's not an irrelevant argument, it means government cannot price things in any meaningful way, that's the reason it should not be in any business, including business of "leasing out land" for any purpose, because it cannot know what the appropriate price for that lease is.

Also gov't should not be subsidising any business, that's why it shouldn't be removing liability and responsibility, and limiting liability to, I don't know, say 75 million USD per oil spill incident, such as was observed in case of BP deep drilling disaster, is the reason why gov't shouldn't be doing it. The moral hazard that is created by such limitation of liability allows private businesses to socialise the costs.

Government cannot 'steal' land from people to sell it. Either it is public land, and then no business can be allowed to mine on it (of-course I am against any public land on a principle), or it is to be mined and then it cannot remain public land, it must be sold off so that the public gets proper payment for it on an open auction, which is the only way to decide what the actual price/value of that property is, the public gets paid and the private owner can mine on that land. Since the public gets paid, it can use the money to ensure that no public land is polluted, and that's the correct way to fund such a project.

As to gov't getting money (good/bad) - gov't getting any money is bad, because it grows the gov't. In case when gov't supposedly 'owns' public property, getting rid of those assets at fair market values is good, as long as that money is not wasted, but more importantly it's good because there wouldn't be any limited liability, no moral hazard and no public bail outs. Well, of-course that shouldn't happen in any case.

Lastly: you can't even parse what you are reading, is the time-cube capsule that foggy? The point of using the funds received from the auctioning off the assets is not to 'clean up the mess' but it is to control the situation and in case there is pollution to force the private company to bear responsibility.

In fact it should be the private company who is forced to clean up the mess, should this mess transfer from their private property to any public property. Of-course if the pollution is transferred to other private properties, it is between the owners, not between an owner and the public.

You need to check your blood pressure, it seems to be overflowing.

Re:THIS WAY FOLKS! SEE COGNITIVE DISSONANCE! (1)

RodBee (2607323) | about 2 years ago | (#39685593)

You don't really knows how a concession works, right? And why selling off public land is bad, for that matter.

Re:THIS WAY FOLKS! SEE COGNITIVE DISSONANCE! (0)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#39686341)

There should be no public land, that is all there is to it. There is no ownership of public land, it's by the definition without an owner, thus it is abused, and when a public property is abused by a corporation, it's all about socialising costs and corrupting the gov't and causing maximum amount of damage to that so called 'public property'.

At the very minimum no public property should be allowed to be used for private purposes by any business, ideally of-course public would own no property collectively at all.

Re:THIS WAY FOLKS! SEE COGNITIVE DISSONANCE! (1)

c0mpliant (1516433) | about 2 years ago | (#39689797)

Public land is owned by the people by very definition. Everyone has equal right to it. Why should everything have an owner that is an individual, can there not be things which are owned by society for future generations to enjoy? If (assuming you're American, since its mainly Americans who are so obsessed with private ownership) the Grand Canyon was around to contain a valuable substance, you'd be all for letting some company destroy a wonder of nature? Are you that short sighted?

I don't assume that people are pricks but I know that if we don't protect people from the pricks in society then the pricks WILL do whatever they want regardless of what everyone else thinks. I don't say this because of some theory of market responses but I say it because ITS ALL WE'VE EVER SEEN THROUGHOUT HISTORY! We need more regulation by governments to protect society and our environment

Re:THIS WAY FOLKS! SEE COGNITIVE DISSONANCE! (0)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#39690043)

Public land is not owned by people, it's owned by nobody, that's the real definition.

Public land is constantly being used by corporations, who are paying license fees to mine on it, do whatever on it, where do you see public getting the benefit of this? The public ends up 'owning' this wrecked land, while the company didn't have to pay for anything actually except the straight business of mining, but nothing that had to do with actually acquiring real rights to mining on that land, nothing that had to do with legal liability, environmental liability, nothing.

Why is that? Because again, by definition, public land is owned by 'public', which means by nobody. There is no owner, the gov't is not an owner, the gov't is just a system that is used to steal resources from 'the public' that supposedly 'owns' that land.

The public would be much better served if the land was sold off at an auction, the real price was established and liability and costs weren't socialised.

As to 'Grand Canyons', etc., same thing. Of-course it's less of a problem if nobody is mining there, but they can still DUMP stuff there. There is a big issue of maintenance, and why exactly should the public be paying for maintaining things like canyons and forests, etc?

If it's so important that a canyon stays a canyon for others to come and see, there are always zoning laws that are set by local governments, not FEDERAL government. There are State and municipal and other types of regional governments, federal gov't has nothing to do with this.

Lastly: all that we have seen throughout the history is that the government is just a tool to steal, nothing else. Not protect any society or any environment. Who I am - doesn't matter. What matters is that I am right.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 years ago | (#39685273)

The government is formed by the people. These are all people created problems.

People don't survive individually. Everybody should grow up and accept it. Government is necessary because people are immature little brats that only care about themselves (which is why they're so against government).

Re:We have the same problems in this country (0)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#39686269)

Individuals are against unrestrained growth of government because a growing government is a growing tyranny. Individuals agree on the role of the government (at least in USA it was individuals who got together and formed the federal gov't) and they put limits on what the gov't can do.

Clearly it didn't work out to prevent the growth, so some new methods will have to be devised, it's not like we have the perfect solutions to prevent government from growing, on the contrary, our solutions are very imperfect, which is why government can get out of the limits imposed upon it originally and grow in a cancerous manner to consume and devour the individuals and the entire private sector.

People should only care about themselves, this is the best thing we can hope for, and they should be taking responsibility for themselves and they should be prevented from using the force of government to get subsidies from those, who do better, because that's what destroys the economy. Everybody should grow up and accept it, but more importantly, we have to set up the next form of government in a way that would make it ever harder for people with those ideas to break out of the limits imposed upon them when the gov't is set up.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (3, Informative)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about 2 years ago | (#39684173)

Corporate profits always come first. Coal fires are a problem in some areas and at least one town had to be abandoned since the fires can last for decades and possibly centuries.

Citation needed. The fire that eventually resulted in the abandonment of Centralia, PA, was started when a fire at the local garbage dump ignited a natural coal seam that lay near the surface. Evil mining companies had nothing to do with the fire. Don't blame job-creating business owners and corporations for natural disasters... blame your choice of either Mother Nature or God.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (4, Informative)

moortak (1273582) | about 2 years ago | (#39684765)

Centralia is only the best known coal fire in the US. Some are not mine related, some like Laurel run PA are. Centralia is a mix. The fire was started at a landfill, but that landfill was located in an abandonded strip mine. The natural coal seam wouldn't have been near the surface had it not been for the mine.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 years ago | (#39685287)

Mother nature or God? Don't you mean those dirty people who pile all their garbage in one place to poison the land?

Re:We have the same problems in this country (1)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about 2 years ago | (#39685419)

As opposed to spreading their garbage out, which results in rainbows and unicorns? The problem is garbage, not people. You Americans have to realize that there's more to life than consuming stuff and creating landfills. Go take a walk outside.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 years ago | (#39685831)

Well, thanks for the insult but i'm not a US'ian.

Don't be dumb, obviously the answer is not spreading it out, like fallacies much? The garbage isn't the problem, it's inanimate. The problem is people generating and consuming non-biodegradable products and then disposing of them in a manner that insures that they won't breakdown for centuries to come even if there is biodegradable stuff inside.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (1)

MrKaos (858439) | about 2 years ago | (#39684395)

Corporate profits always come first. Coal fires are a problem in some areas and at least one town had to be abandoned since the fires can last for decades and possibly centuries. Many towns had to be abandoned over industrial pollution and yet I constantly hear it's government regulations that cause the problems. How much of the planet do we sacrifice to greed? I'm not talking about halting progress this is about people cutting corners to make higher profits. Coal companies were supposed to have phased in safe guards to limit mercury and other heavy metals from being released but they ignored the regulations and now want them thrown out. A lot of cheap power depends on ignoring the problems it causes. In coal country areas near power plants have cancer rates through the roof. There's a price of pain and suffering. Often in the end the government ends up picking up the bill for health care and clean up. So long as corporations are protected and the people that run them are safe from being held accountable this will continue to happen. Change the rules and bankrupt the owners and corporate heads of the companies and see how fast it all changes.

must...use.....white.space.

Re:We have the same problems in this country (1)

russotto (537200) | about 2 years ago | (#39685629)

Corporate profits always come first. Coal fires are a problem in some areas and at least one town had to be abandoned since the fires can last for decades and possibly centuries. Many towns had to be abandoned over industrial pollution and yet I constantly hear it's government regulations that cause the problems.

If you mean Centralia, PA, you might want to see which "corporation" started the fire.

Video surveillance (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39683501)

"So grave is the danger that the entire city is under 24-hour video surveillance."
I guess London must be on its way down as well.

Re:Video surveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39686687)

No, London's 24-hour video surveillance is just for catching petty criminals and terrorists.

It would need an upgrade in the event that the city began to sink into the ground. I'd say maybe 4k resolution, 64-bit colour, holograpic surveillence of every surface in the city, including the interiors of private properties and lavatories, 48-hours-a-day, ought to do it. (Mind you. they will need to be careful that the weight of all the new cameras and equipment does not exacerbate the problem.)

Sinkholes (1, Informative)

Jukeman (1522147) | about 2 years ago | (#39683611)

Hate to break environmental wackos ideas ,but; some truth, sinkholes are common in nature without coal fires or mines. Florida, has more than most people can count and more every year, other States also. Underground rivers dissolve limestone, then collapse. Here is a link to wise up them that need to be learned. http://www.dep.state.fl.us/geology/geologictopics/sinkhole/florida_sinkhole_poster.pdf [state.fl.us] Also, old lava tubes/tunnels can collapse causing sinkholes.

Re:Sinkholes (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39683789)

In areas where sinkholes occur naturally, mining can make the problem much worse. Gold mining on the Far West Rand in South Africa caused a drastic lowering of the water table in the dolomitic limestone overlying the rocks containing the gold reefs, and this reactivated more less dormant solution cavities and led to an increase in the rate of formation of sinkholes at the surface. One of the worst was at the West Driefontein mine, where the crusher plant and a number of workers were lost. eeg.geoscienceworld.org/content/7/3/281.abstract

Re:Sinkholes (3, Informative)

datapharmer (1099455) | about 2 years ago | (#39684277)

As a Floridian, I can tell you this is made worse by water bottling operations, mining, bad agricultural practices and pollution. While they do occur naturally doing things that erode the limestone (acidifying the soil) or lower the water table (the water helps holds it all up!) really makes it more prevalent. Last year there were many sinkholes that opened up on the same day - all within about a 10 mile radius of the water bottling plant. Sure, you could say that could be a coincidence, but it isn't. This can be observed time and time again.

Re:Sinkholes (1)

Jukeman (1522147) | about 2 years ago | (#39686851)

Who is acidifying the soil and why, or are you referring to rainwater which is slightly acidic. These underground rivers are not stagnant pools of water, the rivers flow to the sea, pump it out or not, the water is going away. I guess, one could pump to water out faster then it flows in, and cause a collapse, but it would have happened sooner or later anyway.

Re:Sinkholes (1)

Fjandr (66656) | about 2 years ago | (#39689453)

I guess, one could pump to water out faster then it flows in, and cause a collapse [...]

Got it in one. As for water table flow, it's irrelevant so long as the structures are filled. The quantity of water is what provides geologic support, even if it's in motion. Depletion may happen sooner or later anyway, but human-caused depletion occurs in a relatively short time frame, whereas natural depletion operates in geologic time (hundreds of thousands of years or greater). The two scales are not comparable in regards to this particular issue, at least not in any rational way.

Re:Sinkholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39685449)

Yes, sinkholes are natural phenomena too. But if you're mining in salt and potash and water gets in to the mine, collapse is a pretty common outcome. If you're mining salt and potash in a city built over a mine that has a river flowing past it, it is a disaster waiting to happen.

Libertarian utopia (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39683755)

what's not to like?

Re:Libertarian utopia (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 years ago | (#39684431)

That's funny. Calling a town that was created as part of the Soviet gulag a libertarian utopia.

Re:Libertarian utopia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39688381)

The new breed of socialist infecting slashdot of late does not let logic or reason get in the way of either their bleeding hearts or their mouths.

In soviet russia.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39683815)

holes sink you.

Centralia, PA, USA (2)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 2 years ago | (#39683819)

Sound likes Centralia, PA-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania [wikipedia.org]
Except without all the hellfire. And in Centralia they did do it to themselves by setting their own mine on fire. I didn't get enough info from TFA to have an opinion if the mines were done badly enough to reach criminal levels, especially since it's being caused by a natural process and they did try to stop it. If they do hold Rybo responsible, would it even be enough to help the town out?

Just move the city... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39683825)

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

Ambiguity (1)

TheLordPhantom (2527654) | about 2 years ago | (#39684855)

I love ambiguous story summaries. Anybody else think that the quote, "Imagine putting a sugar cube in a cup of tea," was referring to the buildings, not to, "the walls and pillars of salt that miners had left to support the ceilings of huge underground caverns began to dissolve?"
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...