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At Least the Destruction of the Deep Ocean Wasn’t Yet Approved

Considering how things are going and how hard it is for anything even remotely positive to pass, I fully expected deep-sea mining to be given the green light these days, despite the opposition going beyond environmentalists, scientists and communities that would be directly impacted by it and growing to include financial institutions, corporations and powerful states, leading to desperate calls for a final push to try to save what could still be saved. However, that didn’t happen. Of course, there was also no ban or even moratorium and even discussing such a proposal was blocked, and a loophole that allows applications to be submitted despite the lack of any regulations remains, but at the moment it seems that the destruction of the deep sea was delayed for at least two more years, and China apparently even agreed to allow discussions about a moratorium next year, not that such an agreement is worth anything at this time.
What makes the whole situation even more absurd is that, when what’s needed is fixing the damage already caused, without causing any more, an argument used by those pushing for deep-sea mining is that it’s needed for the green transition, which really is like prescribing “smoking to lower stress”. I mean, the deep ocean is a place we didn’t yet directly destroy because it’s so hard to get there that we know very, very little about it. That doesn’t mean that we’re not already having a massive negative impact, indirectly, because of what ends up in the oceans, but at least we’re not actually tearing it apart just yet, which is what will certainly happen if we’ll go there, because hardly knowing anything about it makes it absolutely impossible to come up with any sort of regulations and claim that any sort of protections would be in place. Not that any regulations and protections that were cobbled together for the parts of this world that we do know enough about did much good, considering the magnitude of the environmental crisis that we have created and continue to worsen.
If this meeting would have gone the way I expected it to, it’d have been another “great” moment to repeat that Babylon 5 quote that I keep returning to: “That does seem to be the rule, doesn’t it? Analyze the problem, choose whichever strategy makes least sense and then do it.” And it still seems likely that the final decision will once again prove that rule correct, even if after a delay. But maybe, just maybe, some things will eventually change, the question in that case becoming how many more parts of the ecosystem, how many more species, and even how many more people, it will be too late for. Because, for far too many, it already is…


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