Mining the oceans

Soldato
Joined
12 May 2004
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England
http://www.newsweek.com/2010/09/20/is-deep-sea-mining-bad-for-the-environment.html


The pursuit of minerals is never ending but at what cost to our fragile ecosystem? Is this a responsible way to behave in the 21st century when we are now beginning to understand what damage we have done so far to our planet. Looks like the Chinese monster (growing economy) needs feeding and it it doesn't care what gets in the way!
 
Soldato
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11 Oct 2008
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What China says and what China does are two completely different things.
If they don't say they'll protect the vents, we know for sure those vents are going to get destroyed.

The impact of this is currently not known, the important part is letting the systems recover between mining operations. This will require strict regulation and control, no doubt leading to some more international flare ups.
 
Soldato
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Fantastic article. Thanks for posting. I would add more, but I am posting from my phone :p
 
Man of Honour
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15 Mar 2004
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Liverpool
The Western world was extremely messy until it eventually become greener, or..it moved a large proportion of its manufacturing away from its shores. China AND India are growing faster than they can afford to be that environmentally friendly. That's the key with how technology has evolved and it's sadly going to end up as a double whammy for the planet's ecosystems.

The Americans (and us?) will care about how unenvironmental the Chinese are only if the profit margins are nice and high. If they're too low or nearly breaking even then we wouldn't want pressurise them and make the mining dearer such that it becomes uneconomical. Don't forget too, we like (in this case) cheap electronics. ;)

It's weird an American news source writes of the possible environmental destruction by a rival in global economics that it's often inferred to in one way or another as untrustworthy, when let's face it, the former's hardly cared about it herself before hand e.g. Niger Delta is now just a political and environmental mess.

Shouldn't the Chinese or Americans be mining on land before venturing under the sea anyway? There are recently (and handily) discovered trillion dollar ore deposits in Afghanistan.

Gotta feel sorry for the Afghan people really, natural disasters are one thing but that place is almost cursed politically. :p:(
 
Caporegime
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25 Jul 2005
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Canada
“is to ensure that cumulative effects of mining activities do not exceed the rate of recovery of the organisms that rely on these habitats for survival.”

No chance.

As much I live in my own little world with regards to the "minimal impact of mining and petroleum extraction ("earth lover" and gelologist) I just can't see that ever happening. Sustainable mining of vents (well sustainable mining in general) is just too expensive. These things undoubtedly take hundreds of years to regenerate fully and no one is going to wait that long to mine ones close to it. It's just like sustainable foresting, the cut and planted forests may look like the original forests, in practice huge amounts of diversity have been lost.

Add the Chinese into it (and lets face it, everything they do with regards to mining and petroleum extraction has a terrible impact on the environment) and there is no hope.

Interesting idea though and potentially a very good source of minerals in the future. Be interesting to see if there are any extinct deep sea vents that can be mined on land before heading here though, but I guess they have already been done.
 
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