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Artisanal small-scale gold mining polluted this stream and deforested sections of the Madre de Dios area of Peru. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Gold rush, mercury legacy: Small-scale mining for gold has produced long-lasting toxic pollution, from 1860s California to modern Peru

Small-scale gold mining operations in developing countries are major sources of toxic mercury pollution, using techniques that haven't changed much since the California Gold Rush 150 years ago.
Antonio, from the Yanomami village of Watoriki, photographed in November 1992. After contact with Brazilian society in the 1970s, more than half the Yanomami population died from infectious diseases. William Milliken

Covid-19, isolated indigenous peoples and the history of the Amazon

There are telling parallels between the current pandemic and those that decimated indigenous populations in the post-Columbian era in the Amazon.
Samuel Diaz, a delivery worker for Amazon Prime, loads his vehicle with groceries from Whole Foods in Miami. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Striking Amazon, Instacart employees reveal how a basic economic principle could derail our ability to combat the coronavirus

Delivery workers and others who ensure most people don't have to go outside for essential goods are creating what economic theorists call an uncompensated 'positive externality.'

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