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Articles by Leta Dickinson

Grist's editorial intern from Northwestern University until mid-June.

Featured Article

Our need for metals runs deep. How deep, you might ask? Why, up to 16,000 feet deep, in the form of potato-sized lumps of metal lying on the seafloor in some of the deepest parts of the oceans. We’ve been making sci-fi movies and writing books about it for decades, but commercial deep-sea mining might soon become a reality. Here’s everything you need to know about this up-and-coming industry.

If not oil and gas, what? If not now, when?

It starts with our need for clean energy. We’re in the midst of an energy revolution: Cities and countries around the globe are switching to clean energy to curb their carbon emissions. It’s become a common government and company promise to say ‘net-zero carbon emissions by insert-year-here.’ With so many proposed transitions to renewables, the real lynchpin is keeping up with the demands for infrastructure. And this means metals.

Battery storage, solar and wind power generation, and continued tech advancement require metals like neodymium, dysprosium, tellurium, cadmium, lithium, and cobalt, to name a few. A single Tesla Model S battery alone contains over 60 kilograms of lithium. And sure, maybe we can’t all afford a Tesla, but if... Read more

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