Deep Sea mining…a step too far?


Three_Wise_Monkeys,Tosho-gu_ShrineWhen I began this blog I made a promise to myself that I would follow two simple rules

1/ I would not rant or rave and

2/ Despite my negative views on humanity, as a species, I would always try and present a balanced view of any argument of view

To a great extent I have managed to do so, but an issue has cropped up which has made me partly break that rule. I will try to point out both sides of the argument, but I will do have a thumping good rant and rave.

How many of you have heard of the three wise monkeys. They are at the top of this post, and although, in Japanese antiquity they were described as the three mystic monkeys, and a proverbial maxim, they have long been associated with the phrase of

see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil,

It is true there can be positive connotation as regards this phrase but mor often or not it has come to mean turning a blind eye, or ignoring unpalatable home truths or information.

We are very good at doing so, both as a species and as individuals, but nothing, in my opinion, demonstrates this more than the recent granting of licences for deep sea mining

Avaaz-petitoin-largeThat’s right Folks, the ripping up of the seabed in order to strip huge areas of the seafloor for precious metals, raw commodities, and a whole host of other goodies including medicinal cures and new antibiotic groupings

Arn’t we a wonderful species. We have tried our darndest to destroy land sea and air. We have created an orbital junkyard through our wanton stupidity, and further afield we are greedily eyeing up distant planets and asteroids in order to “recyle” bits of them to infinity, so, I suppose quite logically, why not bugger up the ocean floor that lies beneath us, and decimate a newly found flora nad fauna which we even now do not fully understand

In essence the licenses awarded allows the holder to mine the seabed for precious metals, and other minerals and compounds, so as to “harvest them” for, at the worst, pure profit, and at best, for the betterment of mankind, and an interesting article on the pro’s and cons of such an operation can be seen by clicking here, but is that the whole picture

I would say no, and in defence of my position I would draw up  a list of pros and cons

Pro’s

  1. There is a huge untapped resources just waiting to be grabbed. They are is potentially very valuable,  and if we desire to live our lives in a way that such resources are essential; then new stocks of such dwindling material must be found
  2. Deep sea mining would provide for a more even Distribution of wealth amongst developed and underdeveloped countries
  3. Mining can be done with a controlled environmental impact
  4. Health benefits may accrue with the discovery of new antibiotic groups to replace this ones currently under pressure from bacterial resistance, and a whole host of other benefits

sounds good, but what of the cons

  1. This is true, but just because we want to live our lives in a certain way, does trhat mean that we should be allowed to do so
  2. The idea of wealth distribution is sound, but in reality human greed and stupidity throughout history has made this into no more than a dream
  3. A controlled environmental impact? Since when? Show me a coal mine and I’ll show you a slag heap or open gash in the landscape, or show me a reconstructed landscape where everything that was there has since returned. Mining is, by it’s very nature, a destructive action. you can remodel a landscape, you can reintroduce various species, but you can never fully replace what was once there.
  4. Absolutely true, but even here there is a flip side. Better health, new antibiotics, and new treatments will bring about increased life expectancy, and the potential for even higher population growth, but what of the problems of global funding for the elderly, what of overpopulation and pressure on water, land and food supplies. we cannothave one set without the other, so one day, very soon now, we will have to chose. Either that or nature will make the choice for us and then God help us all

In essence the way we behave as  a species reminds me, at times, being with an immature child. Imagine if you will, that you are watching a six year old child colouring a picture of a dinosaur. He is using a purple crayon, and you ask him why. He replies with the immortal words of

“Cos I want to!”

By our collective thoughts, actions, and deeds, are we not showing the same level of immaturity as that child. He is a child, a six year old child, so, to degree, it is understandable, but we are adults; mature, rational, and intelligent adults with a brain beyond compare, so why do we allow ourselves to act this way?

hydothermal vents

Nature builds…destroys…and rebuilds…why do we so often just destroy!

Not only that what of the kicking we might get from within the earth. One area the mining companies want to exploit is the hydrothermal deep sea vents that form on the Mid Atlantic Ridge. These were only discovered in about 1970, and have an astonishing biodiversity and biogeological habitat, which even to this day we do not fully understand. Yet we do know how they were formed and what drives them. So what are we going to do…

that’s right folks, break them up and take them away!

It’s a bit like whipping of the scar tissue from a infected and pustulent wound withy the knowledge that you will not be able to control the pustulent explosion within the wound. The mining companies will say that they will exercise caution, but I can guarantee that, one day, some cretin will go in too far. Even now there are fears of pollution, increased toxicity within the oceans, and unknown long-term environmental consequences, so what else is waiting for us down the line?

One day, I hope, we will wake up to our stupidity and immaturity.

One day, I hope, we will learn to live in harmony with the rest of the planet,

But I fear that will not be in my or in my nephews lifetime, and before then I fear we will have already gone to far

Any soothing videos to end this post, none I’m afraid, for this issue is far to serious, but if you have any regard for all life, including ourselves, on this planet, I beg you, truly beg you, to watch the video below, and pass on or reblog this post as quickly as you can.

Oh yes, one last thing. This post is not about fame, fortune, or a few extra followers. It is about our future, all our futures, and our future as part of one finely balanced, wholly integrated, and truly wonderful world.

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