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Mother Nature Network

02

Aug

With the down economy, many are taking their financial futures into their own hands — literally. They’re looking for nuggets of wealth — gold, that is — which they hope will yield bigger profits than paper stocks. Certainly mining isn’t the greenest of practices, but at least one proponent of the new gold rush argues that with demand for gold continuing to rise, small-scale prospecting is far more eco-friendly than massive, corporate-run gold-mining operations.10 retro activities making a comeback

With the down economy, many are taking their financial futures into their own hands — literally. They’re looking for nuggets of wealth — gold, that is — which they hope will yield bigger profits than paper stocks. Certainly mining isn’t the greenest of practices, but at least one proponent of the new gold rush argues that with demand for gold continuing to rise, small-scale prospecting is far more eco-friendly than massive, corporate-run gold-mining operations.
10 retro activities making a comeback

18

Jul

Gold: The ultimate incentive to lose weightGovernment officials in Dubai give new meaning to the phrase worth your weight in gold.

Gold: The ultimate incentive to lose weight
Government officials in Dubai give new meaning to the phrase worth your weight in gold.

19

Mar

How earthquakes turn water into gold
Alchemists, search no more—seismic tremors hold the solution to your troubles.

How earthquakes turn water into gold

Alchemists, search no more—seismic tremors hold the solution to your troubles.

16

Jan


 Greek gold mine could bring economic boom or environmental destruction 



A new mine could provide 1,500 jobs, but protestors say the environmental cost is too great.
A new mine could provide 1,500 jobs, but protestors say the environmental cost is too great.

04

Nov

Scientists coax bacteria to produce pure gold nuggetsResearchers have discovered bacteria with a Midas touch, capable of transforming toxic chemicals into pure 24-karat gold.

Scientists coax bacteria to produce pure gold nuggets
Researchers have discovered bacteria with a Midas touch, capable of transforming toxic chemicals into pure 24-karat gold.

20

Jun

In California oasis, ample water leads to wastePalm Springs says it is committed to saving water — but not before filling its swimming pools and tending to its dozens of verdant golf courses.

In California oasis, ample water leads to waste
Palm Springs says it is committed to saving water — but not before filling its swimming pools and tending to its dozens of verdant golf courses.

24

Oct

'Gold Rush Alaska' season two strikes DiscoveryHit reality series follows six men and their efforts to hit it rich in Porcupine Creek, Alaska.

'Gold Rush Alaska' season two strikes Discovery
Hit reality series follows six men and their efforts to hit it rich in Porcupine Creek, Alaska.

09

Sep

Scientists theorize that gold has its origins in spaceUsing the difference in the mass of various rocks, scientists believe that gold arrived on Earth during a meteor shower after the planet had cooled.

Scientists theorize that gold has its origins in space
Using the difference in the mass of various rocks, scientists believe that gold arrived on Earth during a meteor shower after the planet had cooled.

25

Apr

Gold is Killing the Rainforest & Poisoning the Planet

realcleverscience:

This is a terrible situation. It also highlights how human culture is intimately linked with the environment.
I heard about a similarly disastrous problem a few days ago when talking to someone from GreenPeace outside the museum. The girl explained that because of deforestation in Thailand, many villagers don’t have a means of obtaining food, which has led to a surge in child slavery - a problem which two of my friends have been involved with addressing, though I doubt they ever considered the contributing environmental cause.

There really is much truth to the aphorism that we are one with the earth. I really hope we start to take it seriously.

RCS Highlights:

Deforestation in parts of the Peruvian Amazon has increased six-fold in recent years as small-scale miners, driven by record gold prices, blast and clear more of the lowland rainforest

The study.. combined NASA satellite imagery spanning six years with economic analyses of gold prices and mercury imports to document the forces responsible for deforestation in Peru’s biologically diverse Madre de Dios region..

“These are small-time miners; there is no big ‘Goliath’ mining company to blame,” Swenson says. The miners often lack modern technology, have limited knowledge of mining’s environmental or human health effects and rarely have safeguards to limit the release of the mercury they use to process their gold into the air, soil or water…

The mining “is now plainly visible from space,” Swenson says. “At the two sites we studied, Guacamayo and Colorado-Puquiri, nearly 5,000 acres [of rainforest] were cleared in just three years, between 2006 and 2009, largely outpacing nearby deforestation caused by human settlement.”…

[Additionally,] Small-scale gold mining is the second-largest source of mercury pollution in the world, behind only the burning of fossil fuels. Mercury from artisanal mines can travel hundreds of miles in the atmosphere or in surface waters — eventually settling in sediments and moving up the food chain into fish, fish-eating wildlife and humans…

It’s been difficult for Peru’s government to monitor and control all artisanal mining within its borders, she says, but another approach, worth considering, may be to be start limiting mercury imports.