The threat of deep sea mining hangs over our ocean as negotiations in Jamaica close

Petchary's Blog

To me, it is quite terrifying to imagine that in just over a year’s time, deep sea mining may be given the go-ahead. Greenpeace USA was at the meeting in Kingston, Jamaica of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and has been sounding alarm bells since it began. The meeting ended last Friday, April 1, 2022. The ISA’sconcluding press releasestates, quite bluntly, what the main order of business was:

The ISA Council meetings focused on the draft Regulations on exploitation of mineral resources in the Area.

This threatened plunge (literally) into the depths of the ocean to extract minerals, without understanding or recognizing the science or the expected devastating environmental impact, would be irreversible and impossible to repair or restore. We would not be able to go back and “fix” it later. It is funny how humans seem to think this is always possible, after we have already brought…

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Opinion: Peace in Europe Must Now Be Defended Against Putin’s Russia – DER SPIEGEL

An Editorial by Mathieu von Rohr
The horrific crimes committed by Russian soldiers in Vladimir Putin’s war of extermination shows that a return to the old status quo will not be possible with this Russia. Germany should be doing everything in its power to back Ukraine.

Source: Opinion: Peace in Europe Must Now Be Defended Against Putin’s Russia – DER SPIEGEL

Opinion | Americans on Medicaid Could Soon Lose Health Insurance – The New York Times

Many of the millions of people who lose Medicaid coverage, either because they no longer qualify or because they are otherwise dropped from the state’s rolls, sometimes mistakenly, are likely to discover they are uninsured only when they next seek medical care, such as when they visit a clinic or go to a pharmacy to refill a prescription.

And that’s in a country where an inhaler can cost $50 to $100, a doctor’s visit typically costs over $100, and a hospitalization for Covid-19 can run tens of thousands of dollars.

On top of all that, the enhanced government subsidies to buy Affordable Care Act health plans — provisions of the American Rescue Plan that make insurance more affordable for low and even some middle-income people — expire at year’s end. For example, premiums for a silver level health plan that would normally cost $560 a month, on average, were reduced to just $390 with the extra government support for someone earning $55,000 a year, resulting in an annual savings of over $2,000.

When those enhanced subsidies expire, many lower-income Americans could be left with the prospect of paying double for health coverage.

The Build Back Better Bill, which passed the House in November, would have extended the more generous subsidies for purchasing A.C.A. health plans. But the bill was declared “dead” by Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, this year, who refused to support it. Now Democratic leaders are hoping to negotiate a slimmed-down version of the bill, but it’s unclear whether a bill will materialize with the provision in it.

It is a perilous time to throw low- and middle-income Americans off the insurance cliff: A new Omicron subvariant is spreading, and a program that provided coronavirus testing and Covid treatment at no cost to the uninsured expired in March because the government ran out of funds to support it. Another program that provided vaccination at no cost to patients is set to end this month.