Earthquakes and volcanoes can provide us with surprising and unexpected new data. Just within this century, several dramatic events have increased our understanding of these natural hazards, including the catastrophic 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan. Now, examination of the events leading up to a 2021 volcanic eruption has brought new – and sobering - information.
Many crystal mining operations are steeped in conflict and associated with appalling worker conditions and serious environmental degradation. Many collectors who are concerned with environmental impact and fair trade are seemingly unaware of this dark side – or perhaps they just don’t want to acknowledge it. There are alternatives.
The volcano recently erupting in Africa–Mount Nyiragongo–is one of the most active on our planet. Eruptions in 1977, 2002 and now beginning in May 2021, have resulted in a significant number of fatalities and extensive damage in the nearby and densely populated city of Goma. If scientists were calling the shots, they would relocate Goma and designate the region beneath this active volcano as a national park.
Deep in equatorial Africa, a high mountain range known as the Mountains of the Moon played a prominent role for centuries in myths about the source of the Nile River. An absorbing history of these mountains is published in a blog post in Volcano Café. As Albert, who wrote the post, states “They are mountains without a cause.”