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James Cameron supports deep-sea mining. Activists say it’s a disaster. Who’s right?

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece in The Guardian or enjoy below 

🗞️ Driving the news: In a recent interview with Guardian Seascape, famed filmmaker and ocean explorer James Cameron supported deep-sea mining, deeming it lesser of two evils compared to terrestrial mining

🔭 The context: The debate around deep-sea mining comes at a crucial time as the International Seabed Authority (ISA), a quasi-UN body of 168 member states, convenes for its assembly meeting 
• A group of countries, including France, Chile, Costa Rica, Palau, and Vanuatu, is urging a "precautionary pause" on mining due to a lack of knowledge about deep-sea biodiversity

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: Deep-sea mining could cause significant permanent damage to ocean ecosystems, with potential extinction of species on a vast timescale

⏭️ What's next: With the ISA council setting a goal of allowing mining to proceed within two years, the pushback from other member states will be crucial in determining the future of deep-sea mining

💬 One quote: “Saying it’s better to mine the seafloor than the rainforest is a straw-man argument. In terms of what we don’t know, it’s not just the species that live in the habitat, it is the ecology, and [potential future] uses in terms of socioeconomic value” (Muriel Rabone, a data researcher at the Natural History Museum)

📈 One stat: A recent study found that the particular area of interest (the Pacific between Hawaii and Mexico called the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ)) contains more than 5,000 species new to science

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