Monday, September 22, 2008

More on mining

I don't exclusively trawl the Internet for free content to act smart about. Occasionally I have to take the train and buy a paper copy of something to entertain me. Exactly the case of New Scientist's August 16 2008 issue which had an interesting cover story on climate change (including a denial forecast!). Page 16 is a "Comment and analysis" article by William Laurance: "The real cost of minerals" taking a look at a current mining boom.

Of course, I have been meaning to quote it a bit here. Now that I finally started punching my keyboard, the first thing I see is someone else did already. Of course. Check out / High mineral prices drive rainforest destruction by Rhett A. Butler and the selection of back posts they link to below the main text. Also, someone put the actual article online - don't know if it's alright copyright wise but it's there (PDF).

The short, short version: Mineral prices are up, incentive to mine follow. 3rd world countries struggle to (or give up) handle the pollution, illegal miners, conflicts with indigenous people etc. etc.

As miners move into remote areas, lawlessness, prostitution and armed clashes often follow

Mining is also something Jared Diamond writes about in his latest master piece Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail Or Succeed, a book everyone not wanting to help destroy our habitable biosphere should consider reading. It's chapter 15: Big businesses and the environment: Different conditions, different outcomes (pages 452-468 in my edition).

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