|dc.description.abstract||Mining on land Antarctica is technically possible, but at great expense to environmental quality, at Ieast locally. Antarctic ecosystems are not well understood and their tolerance of stress less understood. Antarctic ecosystems evolved to cope with extremes over very long periods in isolation and at generally slow growth and productivity rates. Because mining related stresses are significantly different from normal, damages would be largely irreversible. Antarctic ecosystems generally have low resilience or unacceptable limits of tolerance.
Acceptable limits criteria is anthropocentric implying risk-taking interference control. Because of mistrust, of institutional experts, decision-making rational scientific criteria, compromisation of difficult-to-measure intrinsic values, Independent advice and participation is sought by non-government public representatives. Decision-making experts appear limited to collect-use specialist information involving Interdependent systems. Thus, management incorporation of a holistic generalist approach, and perspective that a level of uncertainty is okay, are strongly recommended.
Acceptable limits perspective may be more politico-economical than ecological. Given ecosystem low resilience, motives to discover new platinum sources, possibly in advance of petroleum, implies decisions on their 'expendability' and within a 'closed system', This condition may be impractical and having profound, if largely unknown, effects on project economics.
Given current non-sustainable patterns of resource consumption and a global economic and ecological crisis, a wise strategy would involve improving these patterns and simultaneously devising an enlightened plan for human activity and environmental protection in Antarctica, a World Park, and gain improved understanding of Antarctica and in the global context. Today, the only mining in Antarctica should be for information.||en