What are Seabed Mineral Nodules and Who Wants Them?
with Emily Jeffers, Center for Biological Diversity
On Sustainability Now! Sunday, March 6th, 5-6 PM
California Assembly Member Luz Rivas recently introduced a bill to ban mining of seabed nodules on 2,500 square miles of sea floor off the coast of California. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, critics say such mining would “kill marine life, damage habitats and pollute surrounding areas, and ultimately could have a negative impact on fishing and tourism, which together contribute more than $20 billion annually to the state’s economy.” Proponents argue that seabed mining could provide access to many metals used in cell phones and electric cars and would contribute to the coming green economy.
What is seabed mining and what are those mineral nodules that seem to promise a future full of green devices? Join host Ronnie Lipschutz for a conversation with Emily Jeffers, a Berkeley-based staff lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity. We’ll explore why mineral companies are so gung ho about getting out there and scooping up those nodules.
Here are a few articles about the topic:
Elizabeth Kolbert, “Mining the Bottom of the Sea,” The New Yorker, December 26, 2021.
Jessica Aldred, “The Future of Deep Seabed Mining,” China Dialogue Ocean, February 25, 2019.
Kathryn A. Miller, Kirsten F. Thompson, Paul Johnston and David Santillo, “An Overview of Seabed Mining Including the Current State of Development, Environmental Impacts, and Knowledge Gaps,” Frontiers of Marine Science 4 (2018): article 418.