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Film Explores Rare Minerals and Rare Landscapes

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.

NG Emerging Explorer, filmmaker Roshini Thinakaran. Photo by Mark Thiessen.

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.


More “Journey on Earth” Film Posts

“After the Gas Rush” Part 1

“After the Gas Rush” Part 2


  1. jay q. estigoy
    vigan city, philippines
    May 25, 2012, 8:07 am

    i would like to find a friendly tribal place were i could visit & to live in.pls give me a place.thanks.more power..

  2. praneetha Rajapakshe
    May 25, 2012, 4:42 am

    please send me a discovery show of living & travlling

  3. stephen shu
    May 21, 2012, 12:25 pm

    It;s a fantastic video.