environment

Gold’s Dirty Environmental Secret (DISCOVER)

Gold is a modern expression of love, and every Valentine’s Day thousands of shoppers browse boutique windows full of the stuff. Over 90 countries mine the gold that is fashioned into jewelry, with China currently topping the exporter tables (though as illegal exports are rampant in some countries, exact figures are hard to pin down). South American countries are also major gold producers, particularly Perú, which ranks variously fifth or sixth worldwide. A global gold rush over the last decade has seen a boom in South American mining. But this has led to a specific problem — it is now financially viable to extract gold deposits from areas which were previously unprofitable, such as under tropical forests, resulting in growing damage to one of the planet’s most vulnerable ecosystems. Full Story on DISCOVER