A trip to Bangka off the coast of Sumatra. Mining at its most dangerous–and loud. A cacophony of inefficient Chinese-made motors belching out pollution so big you could swat the chunks away.

People dive underwater to vacuum up sand forming underwater pits more than several feet deep. The insecure pit walls often collapse, swallowing many men who are never rescued. After several days there, I couldn’t tell the difference between legal and illegal mining.