I had seen articles like this in the past, highlighting the need to develop more diverse sources of materials, but the New York TImes, recently ran an article on the environmental toll that rare earth element mining is taking on China. This isn't just about the Chinese developing a Soviet-style environmental record but also about how dependent we (and everyone else) is on these elements from China. For what it's worth, there is a company in California that plans to reopen a mine for several of the minerals, presumably with an eye for the environment.
In an interesting development, many tankers are going to be coming back on the market after having stored crude for traders looking to make a profit off futures contracts. Two comments One: Just picturing what it means to buy a whole tanker's worth of crude, wait several months, then deliver it, seems like some sick perversion of the capitalist system. Two: sell tanker stocks.