Commentary: Like Frodo, we should embrace our enemy’s enemy – by Chris Hinde (Northern Miner – August 11, 2023)

Professor J.R.R. Tolkien died 50 years ago, and we can learn from his hero in Lord of the Rings, Frodo Baggins, who made an expedient choice for his guide into Mordor.

Rather like the combatants on Middle-Earth, cursory observers of our conflict over the environment might conclude that there is a sharp distinction between the forces of good and evil, and also that the mining industry is in the wrong camp.

One side of this battle is widely portrayed as dark, slow and cold, and is associated with earth and shadows, while the other is seen as warm and focused, and associated with the sky, positivity and light. I am drawing these generalized descriptions from, of course, the two principles of Chinese philosophy; Yin (which approximates to the public view of the mining sector) and Yang (the perception, perhaps, of environmental groups).

Yin is associated with everything bad, while Yang is associated with all things good, positive and happy. The Chinese philosophical principle of Yin and Yang is that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites. In terms of cosmology, the universe is created out of a primary chaos of material energy, organized into cycles of Yin and Yang, which are formed into objects and lives.

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