by Leslie Eastman at legalinsurrection.com
Eco-activists hardest hit. And guess which country is a leader in deep-sea mining!
While I do cover a great deal of space news for Legal Insurrection, I would also like to note that the deep sea is a vastly under-explored frontier. Given all the pseudoscience published about the “climate crisis,” the importance of understanding our ocean, locating new resources, and determining its complex influence on our climate should be prioritized.
To put this in perspective:
Thousands have climbed Mount Everest, and a handful of people have walked on the moon. But reaching the lowest part of the ocean? Only three people have ever done that, and one was a U.S. Navy submariner.
Technologies have improved dramatically in recent years, including the ability to direct remote work. Now the United Nations has made a move that may help this process: It is beginning to accept applications for deep-sea mining….because of the demands for metals associated with battery production.
Deep-sea mining would extract cobalt, copper, nickel, and manganese – key battery materials – from potato-sized rocks called “polymetallic nodules” on the ocean’s floor at depths of 4 to 6 km (2.5 to 4 miles). They are abundant in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) between Hawaii and Mexico in the North Pacific Ocean.
The ISA’s governing council formulated a draft decision on Thursday after a meeting in Jamaica that allows companies to file permit applications starting on July 9, a deadline set in motion by actions the island nation of Nauru took in 2021, according to a copy seen by Reuters.
The ISA’s staff would then have three business days to inform the council. According to the document, the council plans to meet virtually before July to debate whether approval of such applications could be delayed once received.
The move is fascinating, especially in light of the enormous outcry among eco-activists.