By Tara Lohan
In the aftermath of the Nov. 3 election, President Donald Trump has tried every trick in the book to avoid facing the reality of his loss. A barrage of lawsuits accompanied by disinformation campaigns has attempted to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election.
Senator Jon Tester at a press conference to discuss the Land and Water Conservation Fund in 2018. Public domain
Pied-billed grebe on an oil-covered evaporation pond at a commercial oilfield wastewater disposal facility. Pedro Ramirez Jr. / USFWS
Dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. Carey Akin / CC BY-SA 2.0
- Biden Can Leverage Larger Trends to Make Climate Progress ... ›
- Biden-Harris Climate Plan: 'Not Trump' Is Not Enough - EcoWatch ›
- 7 Environmental Takeaways From the 2020 Election Season ... ›
- Trump Named 'Worst President for Our Environment in History' by ... ›
- Report Urges Biden to Reverse Trump's Environmental Rollbacks - EcoWatch ›
- How Trump Has Attacked the Environment During the Holidays ›
- Trump’s Failed Environmental Policies Caused 22,000 Deaths, New Report Finds - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
- Montana Senator Introduces Bill to Ban Gold Mining Near ... ›
- New Mining Ban Around Yellowstone Moves Forward - EcoWatch ›
- Court Blocks Gold Mining Near Yellowstone National Park - EcoWatch ›
- Wolverine Caught on Yellowstone Trail Cam for First Time - EcoWatch ›
Like many other plant-based foods and products, CBD oil is one dietary supplement where "organic" labels are very important to consumers. However, there are little to no regulations within the hemp industry when it comes to deeming a product as organic, which makes it increasingly difficult for shoppers to find the best CBD oil products available on the market.
Charlotte's Web<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDcwMjk3NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MzQ0NjM4N30.SaQ85SK10-MWjN3PwHo2RqpiUBdjhD0IRnHKTqKaU7Q/img.jpg?width=980" id="84700" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a2174067dcc0c4094be25b3472ce08c8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="charlottes web cbd oil" data-width="1244" data-height="1244" /><p>Perhaps one of the most well-known brands in the CBD landscape, Charlotte's Web has been growing sustainable hemp plants for several years. The company is currently in the process of achieving official USDA Organic Certification, but it already practices organic and sustainable cultivation techniques to enhance the overall health of the soil and the hemp plants themselves, which creates some of the highest quality CBD extracts. Charlotte's Web offers CBD oils in a range of different concentration options, and some even come in a few flavor options such as chocolate mint, orange blossom, and lemon twist.</p>
- Best CBD Oils of 2020: Reviews & Buying Guide - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Oil for Pain Management - Top 10 CBD Oil Review 2020 ... ›
- Best CBD for Dogs 2020 - Organic CBD Oil for Pets - EcoWatch ›
- Full Spectrum CBD Oil: What To Know - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Waters: Plus All You Need to Know - EcoWatch ›
- The Best Water Soluble CBD Available Online - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD for Sleep (Lab-Tested, Person-Tested Oils) - EcoWatch ›
- Strongest CBD Oils to Buy in 2021? - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Oils For Pain: Top 3 Brands of 2021 - EcoWatch ›
- 8 Science-Based Benefits of CBD Oil - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Vape Pen: Top Brands of 2020 - EcoWatch ›
- Because Price Matters: Most Affordable CBD Oils of 2021 - EcoWatch ›
- What if We Treated Our Oceans as if They Matter? - EcoWatch ›
- Did Life on Earth Begin in the Deep Sea? - EcoWatch ›
- Deep Sea Mining Decisions: Approaching the Point of No Return ... ›
By Andrea Germanos
Environmental campaigners stressed the need for the incoming Biden White House to put in place permanent protections for Alaska's Bristol Bay after the Trump administration on Wednesday denied a permit for the proposed Pebble Mine that threatened "lasting harm to this phenomenally productive ecosystem" and death to the area's Indigenous culture.
<div id="da98c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="478a197b7c59c92787c92bec92f1ac39"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1331662923710693376" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Bristol Bay forever, Pebble mine never. #NoPebbleMine #SaveBristolBay https://t.co/CBQ9zuy8A5</div> — Save Bristol Bay (@Save Bristol Bay)<a href="https://twitter.com/SaveBristolBay/statuses/1331662923710693376">1606328156.0</a></blockquote></div>
- Pebble Mine Threatens One of the Last Great Salmon Rivers ... ›
- The Pebble Mine Is Too Toxic Even for the Trump Administration ... ›
- Trump Admin Reverses Obama-Era Restrictions on Pebble Mine ... ›
In yet another attack on the environment before leaving office, the Trump administration is seeking to transfer ownership of San Carlos Apache holy ground in Oak Flat, Arizona, to a copper mining company.
- Mining Giant BHP Pauses Plans to Blast 40 Aboriginal Heritage Sites ›
- Mining Company CEO Forced to Resign After Blasting of 46,000 ... ›
- Rio Tinto Blasted Away an Ancient Aboriginal Site. Here's Why That ... ›
By Jeannette Cwienk
Shubham Mani Tripathi, newspaper reporter, India: shot dead in June 2020 for exposing illegal sand mining. Maria Efigenia Vasquez Astudillo, radio reporter, Colombia: struck and killed by a projectile in October 2017 while covering clashes between the Indigenous community and local police. Joseph Oduha, journalist, South Sudan: fled the country in 2019 after imprisonment and torture for uncovering environmental destruction by international oil companies.
Indigenous Communities Threatened<p>Environmental journalists in Europe also face intimidation and harassment, said RSF spokesperson Christoph Dreyer, pointing to cases connected to the destruction of the Hambach Forest in northwestern Germany or unsustainable agriculture practices in Brittany, France. But most of these attacks, more than 65%, are recorded in Asia and the Americas.</p><p><span></span>"These cases exist in places where raw materials are being mined or where land is being seized for agriculture, in countries where the government is on the side of industry," said Dreyer.</p><p>It's in these areas, where Indigenous communities often live amid untapped natural resources and unspoiled forest, where local journalists are usually the first to report on the conflicts. Often, they're the only ones on the scene."</p><p>In some Latin American countries, the dominant traditional media are heavily controlled by the economic and political elites," said Dreyer. "They often hold back from critical reporting on environmental issues, because it clashes with their interests." As a result, when local media decide to take a closer look they're put under extreme pressure, he added.</p>
Local Journalists Under Pressure<p>The work of local journalists is extremely important for Indigenous communities, said Kathrin Wessendorf, head of the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA). "Each Indigenous community has its own language, and only community reporters can report in that language," she told DW. "They also know how best to approach the community to spread the message."</p><p>Patricia Gualinga, who fights for Indigenous rights in Ecuador, told DW that large national media networks are often slow to report on environmental and human rights issues. "It's really very difficult to get coverage on TV. And if an issue isn't reported by the media, it doesn't exist," she said.</p>
Media Coverage Provides Protection<p>Journalism is needed to bring such crimes to light, said Wessendorf, adding that international media have a particularly important responsibility.</p><p>"Journalists can bring the human rights violations often associated with environmental destruction to the attention of the wider public," she said. "This, in turn, can lead to international solidarity and put pressure on governments or companies."</p>
Documenting Violence and Intimidation Across Borders<p>Gualinga and other media workers from Latin America discussed the role of journalism in the fight for environmental protection and human rights during a <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/gmf-digital-session-tierra-de-resistentes-defending-the-planet/a-55397748" target="_blank">a recent panel discussion</a>at DW's Global Media Forum. Also taking part was Andres Bermudez Lievano, a Colombian journalist and one of the editors of <a href="https://tierraderesistentes.com/en/" target="_blank"><em>Tierra de Resistentes ("Land of Resistants"</em>)</a>. The investigative data journalism project, available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, was launched by Colombian Journalists' Association, Consejo de Redaccion, with the support of the DW Akademie.</p><p>In the project, journalists from 10 different countries documented the fates of hundreds of environmental activists in Latin America who have been threatened and killed for their work. Nearly 2,400 cases have been compiled to date, with some now taken up by UN organizations.</p>
- Amazon Threatens to Fire Employees Who Speak out on Climate ... ›
- Melting Glacier Study Could Hold Climate Polluters Accountable - EcoWatch ›
The chief executive officer and two senior executives are being forced out of the mining giant Rio Tinto several months after investors started to revolt over the company's destruction of an ancient aboriginal rock shelter, according to CNN.
- Gold Miners Murder Indigenous Leader, Force Villagers in Brazil's ... ›
- Brazil's Bolsonaro Unveils Bill to Open Indigenous Lands to Mining ... ›
- Mining Giant BHP Pauses Plans to Blast 40 Aboriginal Heritage Sites ›
- Trump Admin Is Rushing to Mine Sacred Tribal Land in Arizona - EcoWatch ›
By Elizabeth M. De Santo, Elizabeth Mendenhall and Elizabeth Nyman
Mining the ocean floor for submerged minerals is a little-known, experimental industry. But soon it will take place on the deep seabed, which belongs to everyone, according to international law.
<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8ede225024f2f781d3551193e5e16267"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Lwq1j3nOODA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
An Old Treaty With a New Purpose<p>Countries regulate seabed mining within their marine territories. Farther out, in areas beyond national jurisdiction, they cooperate through the <a href="https://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/convention_overview_convention.htm" target="_blank">Law of the Sea Convention</a>, which has been ratified by 167 countries and the European Union, but not the U.S.</p><p>The treaty created the <a href="https://www.isa.org.jm/" target="_blank">International Seabed Authority</a>, headquartered in Jamaica, to manage seabed mining in international waters. This organization's workload is about to balloon.</p><p>Under the treaty, activities conducted in areas beyond national jurisdiction must be for "<a href="https://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/part11-2.htm" target="_blank">the benefit of mankind as a whole</a>." These benefits could include economic profit, scientific research findings, specialized technology and recovery of historical objects. The convention calls on governments to share them fairly, with special attention to developing countries' interests and needs.</p><p>The United States was involved in negotiating the convention and signed it but <a href="https://sites.tufts.edu/lawofthesea/chapter-eleven/" target="_blank">has not ratified it</a>, due to concerns that it puts too many limits on exploitation of deep sea resources. As a result, the U.S. is not bound by the treaty, although it follows most of its rules independently. Recent administrations, including those of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, sought to ratify the treaty, but <a href="https://www.voanews.com/usa/why-hasnt-us-signed-law-sea-treaty" target="_blank">failed to muster a two-thirds majority</a> in the Senate to support it.</p>
Locations of three main types of marine mineral deposits: polymetallic nodules (blue); polymetallic or seafloor massive sulfides (orange); and cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts (yellow). Miller et al., 2018, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2017.00418, CC BY 4.0
Powering Digital Devices<p>Scientists and industry leaders have known that there are valuable minerals on the seafloor for over a century, but it hasn't been technologically or economically feasible to go after them until the past decade. Widespread growth of battery-driven technologies such as smartphones, computers, wind turbines and solar panels is <a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/explainer-these-six-metals-are-key-to-a-low-carbon-future" target="_blank">changing this calculation</a> as the world runs low on land-based deposits of copper, nickel, aluminum, manganese, zinc, lithium and cobalt.</p><p>These minerals are found in potato-shaped "nodules" on the seafloor, as well as in and around <a href="https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/vents.html" target="_blank">hydrothermal vents</a>, seamounts and midocean ridges. Energy companies and their governments are also interested in extracting <a href="https://e360.yale.edu/features/the-world-eyes-yet-another-unconventional-source-of-fossil-fuels-methane-hydrates%3Cu" target="_blank">methane hydrates</a> – frozen deposits of natural gas on the seafloor.</p><p>Scientists still have a lot to learn about these habitats and the species that live there. Research expeditions are continually <a href="https://newatlas.com/science/expedition-30-new-species-longest-known-animal/" target="_blank">discovering new species in deep-sea habitats</a>.</p>
Korea and China Seek the Most Contracts<p>Mining the deep ocean requires permission from the International Seabed Authority. Exploration contracts provide the right to explore a specific part of the seabed for 15 years. As of mid-2020, <a href="https://www.isa.org.jm/deep-seabed-minerals-contractors" target="_blank">30 mining groups have signed exploration contracts</a>, including governments, public-private partnerships, international consortiums and private multinational companies.</p><p>Two entities hold the most exploration contracts (three each): the government of Korea and the <a href="http://www.comra.org/en/index.htm" target="_blank">China Ocean Mineral Resources R&D Association</a>, a state-owned company. Since the U.S. is not a member of the Law of the Sea treaty, it cannot apply for contracts. But U.S. companies are investing in others' projects. For example, the American defense company Lockheed Martin owns <a href="https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-gb/products/uk-seabed-resources.html" target="_blank">UK Seabed Resources</a>, which holds two exploration contracts.</p><p>Once an exploration contract expires, as several have since 2015, mining companies must broker an exploitation contract with the International Seabed Authority to allow for commercial-scale extraction. The agency is working on <a href="https://www.isa.org.jm/mining-code" target="_blank">rules for mining</a>, which will shape individual contracts.</p>
<div id="b8810" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f8fd5d76de470763d957ee7ea725432c"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1259892031935123462" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">It was meant to be a pivotal year for deep-seabed mining. But the coronavirus pandemic is threatening the drafting… https://t.co/sI7NZ6VGhW</div> — China Dialogue (@China Dialogue)<a href="https://twitter.com/chinadialogue/statuses/1259892031935123462">1589216642.0</a></blockquote></div>
Unknown Ecological Impacts<p>Deep-sea mining technology is still in development but will probably include vacuuming nodules from the seafloor. Scraping and vacuuming the seafloor can destroy habitats and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2019.02.014" target="_blank">release plumes of sediment</a> that blanket or choke filter-feeding species on the seafloor and fish swimming in the water column.</p><p>Mining also introduces <a href="https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2017.00418" target="_blank">noise, vibration and light pollution</a> in a zone that normally is silent, still and dark. And depending on the type of mining taking place, it could lead to chemical leaks and spills.</p><p>Many deep-sea species are <a href="https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-7-2851-2010" target="_blank">unique and found nowhere else</a>. We agree with the <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aaz5922" target="_blank">scientific community</a> and <a href="http://www.deepseaminingoutofourdepth.org/" target="_blank">environmental advocates</a> that it is critically important to analyze the potential effects of seabed mining thoroughly. Studies also should inform decision-makers about how to manage the process.</p><p>This is a key moment for the International Seabed Authority. It is currently writing the rules for environmental protection but doesn't have enough information about the deep ocean and the impacts of mining. Today the agency relies on seabed mining companies to report on and monitor themselves, and on academic researchers to provide baseline ecosystem data.</p><p>We believe that national governments acting through the International Seabed Authority should <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2020.103823" target="_blank">require more scientific research and monitoring</a>, and better support the agency's efforts to analyze and act on that information. Such action would make it possible to slow the process down and make better decisions about when, where and how to mine the deep seabed.</p>
<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c592277e25f5db46b484940d3697e9c6"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jnJE37twrzk?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Balancing Risks and Benefits<p>The <a href="https://www.economist.com/technology-quarterly/2018/03/19/race-to-the-bottom" target="_blank">race for deep-sea minerals is imminent</a>. There are compelling arguments for mining the seabed, such as <a href="https://www.mining-technology.com/features/deepsea-mining-the-environmental-debate/" target="_blank">supporting the transition to renewable energy</a>, which some companies assert will be a <a href="https://news.mongabay.com/2020/06/deep-sea-mining-an-environmental-solution-or-impending-catastrophe/" target="_blank">net gain for the environment</a>. But balancing benefits and impacts will require proactive and thorough study before the industry takes off.</p><p>We also believe that the U.S. should ratify the Law of the Sea treaty so that it can help to lead on this issue. The oceans <a href="https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/why-care-about-ocean.html" target="_blank">provide humans with food and oxygen and regulate Earth's climate</a>. Choices being made now could affect them far into the future in ways that aren't yet understood.</p><p><em>Dr. Rachel Tiller, Senior Research Scientist with SINTEF Ocean, Norway, contributed to this article.</em></p>
- Deep Sea Mining Decisions: Approaching the Point of No Return ... ›
- Cook Islands to Allow Seabed Mining Licenses - EcoWatch ›
- David Attenborough Calls For Ban on Deep-Sea Mining - EcoWatch ›
- Climate Change Could Impact 12 New Deep-Sea Species - EcoWatch ›
While 2019 saw a massive uptick in environmental activism around the world, with climate strikes and the Extinction Rebellion campaign surging in popularity, the work of defending the environment on the front lines became more deadly than ever.
- Environmental Defender Murdered in Mexico Days Before Vote on ... ›
- Illegal Loggers Murder Amazon Forest Guardian - EcoWatch ›
- Environmental Justice Activists Arrested Amid Growing Concerns ... ›
- 2 Butterfly Defenders Found Dead Within a Week in Mexico ... ›
- For Indigenous Protesters, Defending the Environment Can Be Fatal ... ›
- Suspected Murder of Another Environmental Activist in Indonesia ... ›
- Pebble Mine Threatens One of the Last Great Salmon Rivers ... ›
- EPA Likely to Approve Mine That Threatens Alaska's Largest ... ›
- Trump Pushed for Mining Project That Could Destroy Alaska Salmon ... ›
- Pebble Mine Denied Permit in Victory for Tribes and Planet ›
Russia's Norilsk Nickel ran into trouble earlier this month when one of its subsidiaries accidentally spilled 21,000 tons of diesel that ended up polluting a pristine Arctic lake. Now the company admits that it has been dumping wastewater into the Arctic tundra, as Agence-France Press, (AFP) reported.
By Monica Evans
This article has been updated to reflect corrected information in the original version.
The Cook Islands government plans to license seabed mining operators to prospect its exclusive economic zone for manganese and cobalt nodules within the coming financial year, Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown told the Cook Islands News.