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Billionaire-Backed Company Unveils Asteroid Mining Plans

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Planetary Resources looks to expand our resource base to include the solar system

In a press release that reads like sci-fi writing, a startup called Planetary Resources announced plans to identify, explore, tag, and finally mine asteroids for materials ranging from precious metals to water. The audacious venture is an attempt to locate and exploit a sustainable resource supply for  Earth's ever-growing population. "Many of the scarce metals and minerals on Earth are in......read more

Chris Round: Fragile Beast

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Photo series tells the story of a dying industry -- and the scars it's leaving behind

Once the site of a thriving china clay industry, Cornwall, England is a region in economic decline. With rising costs and competition from the developing world, mining for porcelain clay is now barely economically viable is the area. Fragile Beast, a photo series from Aussie creative Chris Round, documents the environmental scars left behind by the dying industry, portraying them......read more

Melting Greenland: Opportunity and Risk

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Retreating ice unveils mineral treasures

In the Arctic, global warming is causing record ice melt and bringing with it massive economic and cultural changes. Reporting from Narsaq, a small town on Greenland's southern tip, NYT environment writer Elizabeth Rosenthal writes that the retreating Arctic ice cap is revealing rich mineral deposits that represent both potential and peril for the community.  For a sort-of nation that has......read more

Removing Mountains

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Daniel Shea captures the destructive process of mountaintop mining in the Appalachians

Turns out mountains really can be moved. Or rather, removed. Mountaintop removal, as the name implies, involves blasting away the tops of mountains in order to expose the coal seams underneath. The resulting tons of dirt and stone are typically discarded into nearby valleys and streams, with devastating impacts on mountain ecosystems. The process is particularly prevalent in the Appalachians,......read more

Ken Salazar Opens Up Public Lands to Coal Mining

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A major expansion of coal mining is planned for Wyoming's Powder River Basin.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar just announced that vast coal reserves on federal land in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming will be put up for auction over the next five months. This will lead to approximately 758 tons of coal being excavated. With the abundance of alternative energy sources available, and the Obama administration's stated commitment to move the country toward a cleaner......read more

SHFT Sampler 2-4-11

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Mountaintop mining, Volt vs. Leaf, vintage babes in nature, and more.

Electric Avenue: The race for electric car dominance is underway, and GM is emerging as the early front-runner. According to CNN Money, since production began last November, U.S. sales of the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid are three times that of the all-electric Nissan Leaf. On the strength of those numbers, GM is planning to roll out the Volt to all 50 states by the end of the year. Material......read more

Massive EPA Veto on Mountaintop Mining

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Score one for the environment.

After months of research a debate, an application the largest mountaintop coal removal mining permit in history has been quashed by the EPA. The decision on the 2,300 acre Spruce No. 1 Mine in West Virginia concluded that the mine would have an "unacceptable adverse effect on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery areas, wildlife, or recreational areas."  In the decision, the......read more

Mining For Algae

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Researchers in Missouri aim to grow algae for biofuel in abandoned mines.

Based in Brooklyn, Nightwood is a home decor shop specializing in its own brand of reconstructed furniture and textiles. Owner-designers Myriah Scruggs and Nadia Yaron salvage woods and fabrics and reincarnate them as beautifully rustic, original pieces. Last week, the Nightwood pop-up shop at a downtown Brooklyn condo development. If you're in the area, be sure to swing by. For more......read more

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