I guess I'm kinda obsessed with the show, cause here's what I wrote back in 2012, and again in 2013:
Another example--I've been watching Gold Rush on the Discovery Channel. There's something arresting and compelling about these naive miners trying to strike it rich in Alaska. Anyway, what really strikes me is how they literally have to excavate and wash TONS of gravel just to get a couple of flakes of gold. The scale of rape-and-pillage-the-environment is absolutely stunning.
I've quite familiar with strip mining sites here in my home state of Pennsylvania, and it's awful. What is happening in Alaska to extract gold is worse.
And the link to Ultrarunning? Better enjoy the back country now, because when push comes to shove in a few years or decades, when wilderness is weighed against the precious minerals or oil or gas it contains, guess what'll come out second best?
But anyway, what gets my goat today about Gold Rush is this: the kindly grandfather, who reminds me of a cross between Popeye and Santa Claus, is quite religious. In fact, the guys in the mining operation wear shirts with 316 on the back, a biblical reference. I suppose they are taking literally the Old Testament mantra, what Also Leopold called the "Abrahamic concept of land":
Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.
So...after that very long-winded intro, here's what the kindly grandfather actually said in 2014 Episode 5, in praying for this season's success:
We ask that the gold will just pop out of the ground.
Lord that you would show us the good spots.
Bless us and we pray it in your name.
All said without even a trace of irony. If God really cared enough about gold mining to entertain a prayer about it, He would smite these jokers. Just because.