A Small Idaho Agency is a Counter Balance to China
You could say reading the report is more rocky than dry! It's the annual update from the Idaho Geological Survey. Hey, I took a couple courses in this stuff in college and rocky would've passed for humor in class. The report is 50 pages long but I assure you, several pages are devoted to references and notes. It's like a magazine article.
If relations continue to sour between our countries then we may find ourselves up a Lost River without any oars.
A pair of things leaped out at me. I believe it was page 13 where I came across discussion on rare earth minerals. These are the elements that power our smart phones and if we transition to a mostly electric automobile fleet, rare earths as they're known will play a major role. The trouble is, most of these minerals come out of China. If relations continue to sour between our countries then we may find ourselves up a Lost River without any oars.
The geology of Idaho is special. It has volcanic rocks, mountains, forests and canyons. Finding a trove of rare earths here could be a game-changer for international relations. Self-sufficiency in a crisis is a good thing.
Another part of the report caught my interest. What's up with all the earthquakes (Idaho isn't the only western state seeing a lot of these lately)?
Twin Falls County Commissioner Brent Reinke dropped off my copy of the report and referenced the earthquake research. I told him, "You know it's a Monday when there's an earthquake in Stanley"! Then, just after the New Year began there was a quake in East Idaho.
I've lived through some quakes. Probably not as many as some of you but I'm always fascinated by the reactions of people around me when things start to shake. Several years ago I was in a broadcast studio and my chair began wobbling. The News Director was in another studio. She looked at me through a window as if nothing unusual was taking place. Then I read her lips. "Earthquake," she calmly said.
Some praise, as well, for the Idaho Geological Survey. It's a small agency and with a small budget it does very important work.
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