What would you do if you had one chance to change history? Would you do what is best for the world, or would you do what is best — or easiest — for you? That is the subject of many of the stories we explore in this week’s Weekend Reader. One article reveals how rare-metal interests are rushing to mine the deepest parts of the ocean, with little regard to the disastrous consequences for a part of the world we know very little about. Another story details how a tiny activist investment firm had the guts to stand up to a fossil fuel giant, and ended up securing a major victory. And an illuminating profile depicts West Virginia Democratic Joe Manchin as “a man standing athwart history, not quite yelling ‘Stop,’ but certainly yelling ‘Whoa.’”

All this and much more in this Weekend Reader, exclusively for paying subscribers below.