The Mining Industry’s Next Frontier Is Deep, Deep Under the Sea

The Metals Company has tens of millions of dollars in the bank and partnerships with major maritime companies. The _Hidden Gem_’s foray last October marked the first time since the 1970s that any company had successfully trialed a complete system for harvesting nodules.
The main thing holding the company back is international law, which currently forbids deep-ocean mining. That may be about to change, however. Last year, the Metals Company teamed up with the tiny South Pacific island nation of Nauru to trigger an obscure process that could let them bypass the international prohibition and get a license to start full-scale operations as early as July 2024.
That prospect has sparked an outraged backlash. Environmental groups, scientists, and even some corporations in the market for battery metals fear the potential havoc of seabed mining. The oceans provide much of the world’s biodiversity, a significant chunk of humanity’s food, and the planet’s biggest carbon sink. No one knows how such an unprecedented incursion would affect the many life-forms that live in the abyssal depths, the marine life farther up the water column, or the ocean itself.

Mangrove forests: Crocodile close-up in Cuba wins photo awards

Run by the Mangrove Action Project, the competition – now in its eighth year – aims to show the relationships between wildlife, coastal communities and mangrove forests, as well a Mangrove forests: Crocodile close-up in Cuba wins photo awards s the fragility of these unique ecosystems, both above and below the waterline.
Gardens of the Queen is an archipelago off the coast of Cuba and has been strictly protected since 1996.
It is one of the most untouched marine ecosystems in the world.
“The healthy population of American crocodiles is down to the pristine condition of the mangroves, and I wanted to capture close-ups of this gentle giant in its natural habitat,” said Ms Houppermans.
‘I hope this image can illustrate that protecting areas like this is so critical.”
Mangroves are an important protection against climate change, with one acre (4,000q m) of mangrove forest absorbing nearly the same amount of carbon dioxide as an acre of Amazon rainforest.
The forests also protect coastlines from eroding, as intense storms grow more frequent.
“The Mangrove Photography Awards has become a platform to intrigue people about the magnificent ecological role mangroves play in all of our lives”, said judge Dhritiman Mukherjee.
Fellow judge Octavio Aburto added: “The images from this year captivated our imagination… giving us hope and illuminating a positive future for mangrove ecosystems.”
Here is a selection of winning images from seven competition categories, with descriptions by the photographers.Read More

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The Far West – The Movie

The Far West:  The Movie
The movie, THE FAR WEST has been posted on La Coalicion De Taos’s website,  This very important and beautiful movie reveals just how pervasive the false narrative – the lie – about the history of Taos and  Indigenous and Mexican America really is.  
The conquest of the west is almost the face of America, and in the present day the actual west where we are told how brave cowboys fought off the Indians – instantly the images come to mind – a false narrative, basically a lie, has become truth through sheer repetition.  This beautiful, deeply authentic and actually shocking movie dismantles that false myth.  You will never un-see this movie or forget the truth it unveils!”
In order to orient yourself intelligently, in order to know where to step before you put your foot in it, if you want to understand your environment and why people here act they way they do – watch this film!
This showing is the first in a series of talks designed to educate ourselves, newcomers, the non-profits and our youth about the history of this wonderful place where we live, where the intensity of our famous, incandescent light balances the deep wounds of history, the darkness of our shadow.
                  [La Coalicion De Taos]

The Curious story of Edward Abbey

Edward Paul Abbey (January 29, 1927 – March 14, 1989) was an American author, essayist, and environmental activist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues and criticism of public land policies. His best-known works include Desert Solitaire, a non-fiction autobiographical account of his time as a park ranger at Arches National Park considered to be an iconic work of nature writing and a staple of early environmentalist writing; the novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, which has been cited as an inspiration by environmentalists. Read More

PA ‘backtracks’ on UN resolution against Israel amid pressure from Washington

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The UAE, which had drafted the resolution along with PA officials, has dropped the resolution and the vote apparently amid US pressure, reports say.
Reports by several other US and Israeli news outlets citing diplomatic sources said the PA agreed to drop pursuit of the vote amid pressure from the US government, including promises of a financial aid package as well as a temporary suspension of announcements on new Israeli settlement units and Palestinian home demolitions.
“[US Secretary of State Antony] Blinken reiterated an offer to the Palestinians for a US package of incentives to entice them to drop or at least delay the resolution,” the Associated Press said in a report published on Sunday, citing “diplomats familiar with the conversations”.
“Those incentives included a White House meeting for Abbas with President Joe Biden, movement on reopening the American consulate in Jerusalem, and a significant aid package,” the report continues, adding that “Abbas was noncommittal”.
Another report published by the Axios news website, said that in addition, “Israel agreed to several economic steps that will increase Palestinian tax revenues by more than $60m a year.”

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8000 additional vehicles added to Cayman’s roads in 2022

More than 8,000 additional vehicles were licensed to drive on Cayman’s roads last year as traffic surged to record levels.
An all-time high of 46,199 vehicles passed inspection during 2022, according to the Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing, an increase of 22% on the previous year.
Unless the Cayman Islands Government takes control of the number of vehicles on Cayman’s roads employees will start being penalised for missing work because of gridlock…


Addicted to Growth

This book takes a compelling approach to describing what is needed to create the kind of future that most people on Earth really want. Our global society is hopelessly addicted to a particular vision of the world and a future that has become both unsustainable and undesirable.
Addicted to Growth frames our current predicament as a societal addiction to a ‘growth at all costs’ economic paradigm. While economic growth has produced many benefits, its side effects are now producing existential problems that are rapidly getting worse. Robert Costanza considers lessons from what works at the individual level to overcome addictions and applies them to a societal scale. 
Costanza recognises that the first step to recovery is recognising the addiction and that it is leading to disaster; however, simply pointing out the dire consequences of our societal addiction is only the first step and can be counterproductive by itself in motivating change. The key next step is creating a truly shared vision of the kind of world we all want, and the book explores creative ways to implement this societal therapy. The final step is using that shared vision to motivate the changes needed to achieve it, including adaptive transformations of our economic systems, property rights regimes, and governance institutions.
An exciting contribution from a key thinker in the field, this book will be a valuable resource to students and scholars of public policy and sustainability studies, and anyone interested in understanding and overcoming our societal addiction to growth.
**Robert Costanza, PhD, FASSA, FRSA**, is Professor of Ecological Economics at the Institute for Global Prosperity, University College London. He is a prolific and highly cited author of over 600 scientific articles and 28 books. His transdisciplinary research integrates the study of humans and the rest of nature towards creating a sustainable wellbeing future.

Chagos Islands: UK should pay reparations, says Human Rights Watch

Chagos Islands: UK should pay reparations, says Human Rights Watch

Britain should pay reparations to people removed from the Chagos
Islands, a British territory in the Indian Ocean, a human rights group has said.
Human Rights Watch also called on Britain to allow Chagossians to return to the islands, from which more than 1,000 people were forced to leave in the 1960s and 1970s.
The group accused the UK of “committing an appalling colonial crime”.
The Foreign Office said it rejected this characterisation.
After a military base leased to the United States was established in 1966 on Diego Garcia, the largest of the 60 small islands of the Chagos Archipelago, the indigenous inhabitants were evicted from their homes. Chagossians have fought to return to their homes ever since.

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Brazil pushes illegal miners out of Indigenous territory

Feb 8, 2023  ALTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) – Armed government officials with Brazil’s justice, Indigenous and environment agencies Wednesday began to press thousands of illegal gold miners out of Yanomami Indigenous territory citing widespread river contamination, famine and disease they have brought to one of the most isolated groups in the world.

People involved in illegal gold dredging streamed away from the territory on foot. The operation could take months. There are believed to be some 20,000 people engaged in the activity, often using toxic mercurty to separate the gold.
The authorities – the Brazilian environmental agency Ibama, with support from the National Foundation of Indigenous Peoples and the National Public Security Force, found a helicopter, an airplane, a bulldozer, and makeshift lodges and hangars and destroyed them. Two guns and three boats with 5,000 liters (1,320 gallons) of fuel were also seized. They also discovered a helicopter hidden in the forest and set it ablaze.