Deep sea mining is talk topic



BAR HARBOR — Steven Katona will discuss the current interest in mining metals from the deep sea at Birch Bay Village on Friday, Sept. 13.

The event is open to the public and is part of Acadia Senior College’s monthly Food for Thought lunch and lecture series. A hot buffet lunch is offered at 11:30 for $12. The lecture begins at noon and is free.

“Climate change is already affecting every aspect of life on earth and will do so with accelerating intensity for decades to come,” a press release announcing the talk said. “Its main cause is CO2 and other heat-trapping gases released from burning coal, oil and gas to generate electricity, heat buildings and power cars, trucks, ships and aircraft.

“Transportation is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the US. Electrifying the automotive fleet is a major goal of creating a renewable economy, but electric vehicle batteries require large amounts of copper, manganese, cobalt and nickel. Nodules on the deep-sea floor of the Pacific Ocean contain more of those metals than all known terrestrial supplies. A number of companies, including DeepGreen Metals, Inc. hopes to meet metal needs by collecting those nodules.

“The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that if we cannot bring emissions under control within 10 years, we will have no chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°-2°C (2.7°-3.6°F). Reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires a complete overhaul of human power generation, industry, agriculture and economics, as well as significant changes in human behavior. Failure to achieve those changes will lead to widespread misery, and indeed already has.”

This talk will compare the social and environmental costs and benefits of obtaining the metals from land mines vs. deep-sea nodules, a decision that will have profound implications for people and natural habitats.

Katona is past president of College of the Atlantic and a co-founder of Allied Whale, COA’s marine mammal research group. He has been a sustainability consultant for the New England Aquarium, a research scientist at Conservation International in Arlington, Va., and was the co-founder and managing director for Ocean Health Index.

He is currently on the board of A Climate to Thrive and a consultant for GreenWave, Inc. Katona lives in Salsbury Cove with his wife, artist Susan Lerner.

Reservations are required for both the lunch and the lecture and must be received by noon on Wednesday, Sept. 11.

Contact Acadia Senior College at 288-9500 or [email protected]

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