In the Journey OnEarth film series, National Geographic Emerging Explorer Roshini Thinakaran reports about the people most directly impacted by pollution, oil spills, and toxic chemicals, and communities coping with climate change across the U.S.
This text comes from the “Journey OnEarth” team.
There aren’t many places left in America as isolated as the Otero Mesa- a desert grassland in south central New Mexico where hundreds of native wildlife species and plants thrive. But does this rugged landscape also hold the minerals we need to build the technology of the future?
The discovery of these minerals on Wind Mountain has ignited a new front in the campaign to get national monument designation for the Otero Mesa, a desert grassland encompassing 1.2 million acres.
Rare earth elements are an essential in building technology we have come to rely on, for military hardware, smartphones and tablets, and green technology such as hybrid car batteries and wind turbines.
This commercial and political importance is helping rare earth mining companies gain support in the halls of Congress, but conservationists fear allowing any mining would forever transform the wild landscape of the Otero Mesa.
Watch the full film on SnagFilms.com and explore the issue in depth.
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