Duty to Warn

By Gary G. Kohls, MD – 10-23-2018



“Working mostly with data from Facebook and other social media sites, they are able to determine what people want to hear and how they want to hear it. Cambridge Analytica based much of its model on research done by Cambridge University’s Psychometric Centre which earlier published an online personality quiz that went viral. In the UK there are ethical guidelines about how such data can be used and according to Professor Johathan Rush, the Centre’s director, as quoted in the Guardian article:

“The danger of not having regulation around the sort of data you can get from Facebook and elsewhere is clear. With this, a computer can actually do psychology, it can predict and potentially control human behaviour.  It’s what the scientologists try to do but much more powerful. It’s how you brainwash someone. It’s incredibly dangerous.”


The Precautionary Principle: “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage to environmental or human health, exploitation by any corporate or personal entity that could damage the environment or the health of humans must be delayed until there is absolute scientific certainty that damage can be totally averted.” 

The point, ladies and gentleman, is that greed is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms — greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed — you mark my words — will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.”Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas) from the movie Wall Street

“The economic system in the USA is not capitalism. Rather, it is corporate fascism, individualism and money worship, not capitalism.”Anonymous

”Environment Canada reported that the metallic contaminants that had been dumped in the tailings pond included these hazardous metals: Lead, Arsenic, Nickel, Zinc, Cadmium, Vanadium, Antimony, Manganese and Mercury.” (Note that Mount Polley was a copper mine whose massive tailings lagoon earthen dam [130 feet tall] dissolved in 2014, suddenly releasing 24,000,000 million cubic meters of toxic sludge into the tiny Hazeltine Creek, the nearby Lake Polley and then into the pristine Quesnel Lake, which flowed into the 600 mile long Fraser River, a migratory Sockeye salmon-bearing river that empties into the Georgia Strait and the Pacific Ocean at the city of Vancouver, B.C. The dam wall breech resulted in the worst environmental disaster in the history of British Colombia)

“ALL tailings “ponds” are problems. If they don’t breach and spill massive amounts of toxic sludge into the environment like at Mount Polley, they leach that contamination slowly, poisoning the waters and lands around them.” — From: http://canadians.org/blog/update-mount-polley-mine-disaster-imperial-metals-and-government-focus-covering-instead;


Last night in Duluth, Minnesota (10-22-2018) a small, Minnesota-based, right-wing, Libertarian think tank, the Center of the American Experiment (CAE), came to town to do a one-sided, propagandistic, fact-free promotion supporting the foreign penny stock mining company, PolyMet and its plans to dig an experimental, inherently dangerous, highly toxic, open pit copper/nickel sulfide mine in water-rich northern Minnesota near the headwaters of the St Louis River.

What was likely not discussed at the pro-corporate presentation (to which nobody opposing copper-nickel mining was invited) was the fact that PolyMet’s massive open pit mine has to have an even more massive, highly toxic waste/tailings lagoon nearby that would eventually store, behind 250 foot high (!) earthen dam (!) walls, billions of gallons (!) of eternally-poisonous, highly acidic (sulfuric acid with a pH of stomach acid) mine sludge for generations or centuries (absent, of course a locally heavy rain deluge that could easily cause a sudden, unexpected breech in the earthen dam walls, resulting in what could potentially be the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of Minnesota).

All of this mining activity will be occurring directly upstream from a half dozen St Louis River communities that depend on the environmental health of the river. Also directly downstream is Duluth’s harbor and Lake Superior – which contains 10% of the world’s remaining – and rapidly depleting fresh water.

PolyMet, the mining corporation that the CAE was promoting is a Canadian company that has never earned a penny in its entire short lifetime. Typical for all penny stock mining companies, PolyMet has been acquired by a mature mining company from Switzerland called Glencore, a sociopathic multinational corporation that has never operated a non-polluting mining operation in its entire sordid history of world-wide exploitation.

What will happen if all the involved profit-driven corporations get their way and cavalierly and criminally ignore the Precautionary Principle?

And what does it say about the ethics of our government regulatory agencies (such as the Department of Natural Resources, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Pollution Control Agency, the US Forestry Service) that are allowing themselves to be influenced by exploitive, for-profit corporations as they make their decisions?

What will be most harshly affected, in addition to the long-term health of the people living downstream from PolyMet’s lagoon, will be the drinking, fishing and wild rice-sustaining water. Everything downstream could easily be permanently poisoned whether there is just the inevitable acid mine drainage (AMD) or a highly likely catastrophic breech.

So who are all those mysterious out-of-state entities that are repeatedly – and shamelessly – trying to exploit our already deteriorating environment for the economic benefit of unnamed investors and corporations? What is there motivation to try to convince the public, the DNR, the EPA, the PCA and the Forest Service that the precautionary principle should not be applied? And where is the money coming from that supports these shady groups? And what does the upcoming election have to do with any of it?

The answers are multiple and examining the case of the secretive Center of the American Experiment, only opens a lot of doors to understanding much of the tumult that is happening in America.

It is essential to understand that CAE is only a small player in the huge number of entities that have been funded by semi-secretive, extremely wealthy, corporate-supported Libertarian groups. In CAE’s case, the following three right-wing Republican/NeoConservative/Libertarian foundations were early funders: the Linde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation and the J.M. Foundation.

The CAE group operates no differently than the following short list of right-wing think tanks that are linked to secretive, pro-corporate, anti-tax, anti-democracy groups:

The Koch brothers; the American Legislative Exchange Council; the Center for Media and Democracy; the Heritage Foundation; American Enterprise Institute; Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; the Federalist Society; FreedomWorks; the Lexington Institute; the Claremont Institute; the Hudson Institute; the Cato Institute; the Hoover Institution; the Project for the New American Century (PNAC, infamous for its involvement in 9/11); the Center for Security Policy; the Foreign Policy Research Institute; the Center for Immigration Studies; the Center for Strategic and International Studies; The Federalist Foundation; The Center for Constitutional Studies; The Center for Liberty and Prosperity; The Center for Free Enterprise and Economics; The Center for Representative Democracy and about 300 others, many of which have the words Freedom, Liberty or Prosperity in their names.

Interestingly, the US Chamber of Commerce, which has an active chapter in Duluth, seems to have close relationships with some of the above institutions. The Chamber website states that it opposes the domestic and international adoption of the precautionary principle as a basis for regulatory decision making. The Chamber of Commerce explicitly states that one of its strategies is the “education” of consumers, businesses, and governmental policymakers about the “regulatory implications of the precautionary principle”.

So, for voters who are interested in the future of our children’s health, our state’s environment, the survival or our nation’s democracy and the survival of our planet, please vote for candidates who will reject the politics and economics of selfishness, consistently honor the Precautionary Principle and take to heart this column’s assorted cartoons, quotes, images, lists and the excerpts from the important article at the end of the column that explains how the right-wing brain-washes otherwise good Americans.

“Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or frightened to speak up or speak out, we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“Altruism is a great evil…while selfishness is a virtue.” — Ayn Rand, atheist author of Atlas Shrugged, Fountainhead and The Virtue of Selfishness whose books were the inspiration for the American libertarian movement.


Since his retirement from his holistic mental health practice, Dr Kohls has been writing a weekly column for the Duluth Reader, Minnesota’s premier alternative newsweekly magazine. His columns, which are re-published around the world, deal with the dangers of sulfide mining in northeast Minnesota, American Friendly Fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, malnutrition, Big Pharma’s over-drugging and Big Vaccine’s over-vaccination agendas, as well as other movements that threaten human health, the environment, democracy, civility and the sustainability of the planet and the populace. Many of his columns are archived at a number of websites, including http://duluthreader.com/search?search_term=Duty+to+Warn&p=2; http://www.globalresearch.ca/author/gary-g-kohls; and https://www.transcend.org/tms/search/?q=gary+kohls+articles