Natural Resources

"5 Years After Crisis, U.S. Remains Dependent on China's Rare Earth Elements"

"In 2010, China set in motion a wave of worry around the globe when it dramatically lowered quotas on its exports of rare earth elements, which are crucial to the making of everything from cellphones to missile systems to electric-car batteries. China held 95 percent of the world's supply."

Source: EnergyWire, 01/13/2015

"South American Commodity Boom Drives Deforestation And Land Conflicts"

"A commodity boom has helped pull millions out of poverty across South America over the past decade. It has also unleashed a new scramble for oil, minerals and cropland that is accelerating deforestation and fueling a new wave of land conflicts from Colombia to Chile."

Source: Wash Post, 01/01/2015

Protecting a Home Where the Puffer Fish Roam in Biscayne National Park

"BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK, Fla. — For 15 years, officials, environmentalists, fishermen and boaters have struggled to put together a plan to protect one of South Florida’s jewels — a national park, almost entirely underwater, where a part of the largest reef tract in the United States lures throngs of divers and anglers who fish its once-abundant grouper and snapper."

Source: NY Times, 12/22/2014

"Aluminum Dreams: The Making of Light Modernity"

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"Aluminum Dreams: The Making of Light Modernity"

By Mimi Sheller
MIT Press, $29.95

Reviewed by JENNIFER WEEKS

What is the most essential material for modern living? Most people would probably choose oil or plastics. But Drexel University sociologist Mimi Sheller has a different answer: aluminum.

“Aluminum Dreams” tells the story of this lightweight metal, and shows how corporations have marketed it as a symbol of speed, lightness and progress.

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