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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the demand for gadgets and electric cars grows, so too are the mining operations that dig up cobalt to use in lithium-ion batteries.

And that’s become a serious problem for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, The New Yorker reports, which sits atop about 3.4 million metric tons of the stuff — half of the entire planet’s supply. A massive, gold rush-like mining industry was born after residents in poverty-stricken areas discovered ore deposits under their homes. But now, many are finding that digging up the valuable mineral has failed to lift them out of poverty. And meanwhile, dangerous conditions are killing miners as exposure to the metal is poisoning both people and the environment.

Skimming the Top
A lack of regulations and enforcement over the mines has resulted in the miners, who risk their health and safety for financial security, being exploited by officials and traders who are unscrupulously lining their own pockets, according to The New Yorker. One miner told the publication that he now struggles to pay his $25 monthly rent even as the value of cobalt continues to soar — and the only alternative was to work at a major corporation’s mine for considerably less money.

Meanwhile, thousands of children have been put to work as well, according to The New Yorker, some of whom say they can’t remember the last time they could afford a meal. In order to keep them working, the kids are often even drugged with appetite suppressors.

Cleaning Up
In recent years, Chinese companies bought up most of the mines in south Congo, and have since imposed more regulations on the sites to keep miners safe. But rampant pollution from the mines have still left vast swathes of land uninhabitable, as lakes are poisoned and children and pregnant women are kept away for their own safety — and soldiers will routinely patrol cities with machine guns and rocket launchers to keep miners from sneaking in and claiming cobalt for themselves.

In the face of the economic and environmental destruction caused by cobalt mining, electric vehicle companies like Tesla will occasionally respond to public pressure to divest from the mineral and explore alternative battery tech. But while Tesla has pledged to move away from cobalt batteries, according to The New Yorker, it has yet to actually do so or even put out a plan detailing how it might even try to.

READ MORE: The Dark Side of Congo’s Cobalt Rush [The New Yorker]

More on cobalt mining: Families Sue Tech Giants for Deaths of Children in Cobalt Mines

 

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As with most things, they are many 'layers' to things in life that are complex. Will 'electric' vehicles be cleaner and better for the environment than gas powered vehicles EVENTUALLY? Probably, by quite a bit. Is the gasoling/oil industry clean in all their business practices? Of course not. But stories like the above illustrate why....while change and progress are usually good, that changes works best when it happens SLOWLY....when time is available for issues discovered along the way to be dealt with. This is one of those issues.

Maybe, just maybe, the best thing for the environment is for a small portion of car buyers to be 'trailblazers' and buy electric cars, but until issues like in the above article are dealt with....getting that very fuel efficient gasoline powered vehicle, or a hybrid with a smaller battery, may be the BEST thing for the environment right now.
 

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I begin to wonder if we had bet on the wrong horse with batteries? Some people might dislike the idea of biofuels but we should might check an eye on them again with other sources coming from swichgrass, hemp, algae, etc...instead of corn...
 

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As with most things, they are many 'layers' to things in life that are complex. Will 'electric' vehicles be cleaner and better for the environment than gas powered vehicles EVENTUALLY? Probably, by quite a bit. Is the gasoline/oil industry clean in all their business practices? Of course not. But stories like the above illustrate why....while change and progress are usually good, that changes works best when it happens SLOWLY....when time is available for issues discovered along the way to be dealt with. This is one of those issues.

Maybe, just maybe, the best thing for the environment is for a small portion of car buyers to be 'trailblazers' and buy electric cars, but until issues like in the above article are dealt with....getting that very fuel efficient gasoline powered vehicle, or a hybrid with a smaller battery, may be the BEST thing for the environment right now.
Its highly unlikely you will get to a 100% 'clean car', since an electric car is not free of oil and petroleum, and neither is electric power ever going to come fully from clean 'renewable sources' as its been claimed.
This 'systemic injustice' against 'people of color' is what its all about.. is it not? The people lecturing us on 'systemic injustices' are the same people pushing this stuff and they are at the fore front of ridding these electric cars.. no?

The electric car is a car of 'systemic oppression' obviously.

63841


That there is a systemic problem of the global man oppressing the small man of color
 

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I am waiting for matter anti matter drive for vehicles, I am skipping big electric and battery all together.
 

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Not surprising being this is pretty much how it seems to go for any 3rd world country with raw material wealth. The leaders of the 3rd world country are paid off and sell out their own countries, allowing this to continue. We will have protests in the 1st world on behalf of the 3rd world people, the protesters will ironically have jewelry mined from 3rd world countries, they'll protest and then hop in their battery powered car and drive back home.

I have no solutions, but I'm pretty sure I know how it will play out.
 

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As long as the environmental devastation from so called 'green' things only take place in third world countries those that promote 'green' will bury their heads in the sand.
But then we have the problem we have (had) with oil, Iran, Iraq and the rest of the Middle East will have control (or significant influence) over the rest of the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
But , do we not want to 'save the Amazon' and the 'Orcas'?
Don't forget polar bears! They're almost extinct!

As Polar Bear Numbers Increase, GWPF Calls For Re-assessment Of Endangered Species Status
  • Date: 27/02/17
  • Global Warming Policy Foundation
On the occasion of International Polar Bear Day, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is calling on the U.S. Administration to re-assess the ‘endangered species’ status of polar bears.
On May 15, 2008, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service listed the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The listing is based on the assumption that loss of sea ice threatens and will likely continue to threaten polar bear habitat.

In a GWPF video released today, Dr Susan Crockford, a Canadian wildlife expert, documents the latest findings about rising polar bear numbers.

In 2005, the official global polar bear estimate was about 22,500.

Since 2005, however, the estimated global polar bear population has risen by more than 30% to about 30,000 bears, far and away the highest estimate in more than 50 years.

A growing number of observational studies have documented that polar bears are thriving, despite shrinking summer sea ice.

By September 2007 sea ice extent was about 43% less than it had been in 1979 – a decline not expected until mid-century, and every year after was almost as low, or lower.

Yet no more drowned polar bears were documented, no more bears than normal starved to death, no unusual spikes in cannibalism occurred, and not a single polar bear population was wiped out.

New scientific evidence suggests that loss of summer sea ice, regardless of the cause, is not a major risk for polar bear survival.

“A thorough external review of the polar bear status issue is now required – not only because it’s the right thing to do but because it may help restore public support for science and conservation,” Dr Crockford said.

As Polar Bear Numbers Increase, GWPF Calls For Re-assessment Of Endangered Species Status | The Global Warming Policy Foundation
 

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Don't forget polar bears! They're almost extinct!

As Polar Bear Numbers Increase, GWPF Calls For Re-assessment Of Endangered Species Status
  • Date: 27/02/17
  • Global Warming Policy Foundation
On the occasion of International Polar Bear Day, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is calling on the U.S. Administration to re-assess the ‘endangered species’ status of polar bears.
On May 15, 2008, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service listed the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The listing is based on the assumption that loss of sea ice threatens and will likely continue to threaten polar bear habitat.

In a GWPF video released today, Dr Susan Crockford, a Canadian wildlife expert, documents the latest findings about rising polar bear numbers.

In 2005, the official global polar bear estimate was about 22,500.

Since 2005, however, the estimated global polar bear population has risen by more than 30% to about 30,000 bears, far and away the highest estimate in more than 50 years.

A growing number of observational studies have documented that polar bears are thriving, despite shrinking summer sea ice.

By September 2007 sea ice extent was about 43% less than it had been in 1979 – a decline not expected until mid-century, and every year after was almost as low, or lower.

Yet no more drowned polar bears were documented, no more bears than normal starved to death, no unusual spikes in cannibalism occurred, and not a single polar bear population was wiped out.

New scientific evidence suggests that loss of summer sea ice, regardless of the cause, is not a major risk for polar bear survival.

“A thorough external review of the polar bear status issue is now required – not only because it’s the right thing to do but because it may help restore public support for science and conservation,” Dr Crockford said.

As Polar Bear Numbers Increase, GWPF Calls For Re-assessment Of Endangered Species Status | The Global Warming Policy Foundation
No, no, the Polar Bears are 'starring' in peoples documentaries on their ice canoes.. come on 'men'.. from the BBC ' our planet' to Gore's hit .. extinction.. by 2012... Polar bears rival Stewart, Eastwood and McQueen Combined in Box office and small screen total rakings..

They are totally rad... and you do not have to roll out the red carpet for them.. you can receive the Oscar on their behalf...
 

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The number one poluter in the world are volcanoes. They are the main reason for climate change. The US has the cleanest air of all almost all nations. Except for maybe the continent of Africa. But what they do or what we do has no affect on their weather or ours. Its a money making scheme. Electric is not cleaner it just makes people feel better. I'm ok with Electric cars but thinking they are going to make the air cleaner is a joke. We might really end of with dirty soil and water because of the mining for minerals and disposal of all the batteries.
 

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I am waiting for matter anti matter drive for vehicles, I am skipping big electric and battery all together.
Same here. I think we should all have our own personal portable fusion reactors to power our house and automobiles. Like one of those ARC reactors that Tony Stark made in that cave from missile parts.
 

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The number one poluter in the world are volcanoes. They are the main reason for climate change. The US has the cleanest air of all almost all nations. Except for maybe the continent of Africa. But what they do or what we do has no affect on their weather or ours. Its a money making scheme. Electric is not cleaner it just makes people feel better. I'm ok with Electric cars but thinking they are going to make the air cleaner is a joke. We might really end of with dirty soil and water because of the mining for minerals and disposal of all the batteries.
Volcanoes? Those come naturally from the Earth. So the #1 polluter of the Earth is the Earth itself? That'll start an argument with a lot of people. They'll say that global warming is creating the volcanoes. Lol.
 

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Chinese companies bought up most of the mines in south Congo, and have since imposed more regulations on the sites to keep miners safe.
If the Chinese (in their foreign mines, no less) is an improvement, I guess we can imagine what the original circumstances were like.

That said, this is not a problem with EVs. This is a problem with poverty, corruption, and the history of European colonial policies in the region. Similar sorts of things were happening in Africa for other minerals (e.g., diamonds, granite) well before the "cobalt rush".
 

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But now, many are finding that digging up the valuable mineral has failed to lift them out of poverty. And meanwhile, dangerous conditions are killing miners as exposure to the metal is poisoning both people and the environment.
Meanwhile, thousands of children have been put to work as well, according to The New Yorker, some of whom say they can’t remember the last time they could afford a meal. In order to keep them working, the kids are often even drugged with appetite suppressors.
This is a massive humanitarian and environmental scandal if true. It's a good thing U.S. Central Planning knows best. Will those who championed electric cars nao! be held accountable for their theories?

Cleaning Up
In the face of the economic and environmental destruction caused by cobalt mining, electric vehicle companies like Tesla will occasionally respond to public pressure to divest from the mineral and explore alternative battery tech. But while Tesla has pledged to move away from cobalt batteries, according to The New Yorker, it has yet to actually do so or even put out a plan detailing how it might even try to.
I'm glad The New Yorker is on the case. It's taken us over a hundred years just to get where we are. And then all of a sudden The New Yorker posts an article and "poof" clean, responsible sourced batteries appear! "I want clean batteries now!" Veruca Salt.... :)
 

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The number one poluter in the world are volcanoes. They are the main reason for climate change. The US has the cleanest air of all almost all nations. Except for maybe the continent of Africa. But what they do or what we do has no affect on their weather or ours. Its a money making scheme. Electric is not cleaner it just makes people feel better. I'm ok with Electric cars but thinking they are going to make the air cleaner is a joke. We might really end of with dirty soil and water because of the mining for minerals and disposal of all the batteries.
It’s a tax payers money theft scheme, that’s what it is. We went from Energy independence to dependence on Middle East oil in 3 months, just like that... poof.. all the hard work over the last 4 years lost to the Russian oil pipeline..

we have a criminal enterprise acting against the interests of common citizens. When does it make sense to import energy at the expense of your own exports? Please someone explain to me...
to save the Orca? Or the goose?
 

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So, what's new in the mining world?
Sub out any valuable mineral for Cobalt in a poor country and this is what you get.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If the Chinese (in their foreign mines, no less) is an improvement, I guess we can imagine what the original circumstances were like.

That said, this is not a problem with EVs. This is a problem with poverty, corruption, and the history of European colonial policies in the region. Similar sorts of things were happening in Africa for other minerals (e.g., diamonds, granite) well before the "cobalt rush".
Just because The New Yorker said it, does not make it so.

This is a massive humanitarian and environmental scandal if true. It's a good thing U.S. Central Planning knows best. Will those who championed electric cars nao! be held accountable for their theories?



I'm glad The New Yorker is on the case. It's taken us over a hundred years just to get where we are. And then all of a sudden The New Yorker posts an article and "poof" clean, responsible sourced batteries appear! "I want clean batteries now!" Veruca Salt.... :)
This will be a scandal, kinda like, uhh, like discovering that Fauchi was making up stuff as he went along and in fact was conspiring with our enemies to bring this in and cover it up. No worries, though! He meant well!

I predict that in maybe 20 years, tops, there will be a Great Awakening! regarding how utterly filthy and toxic the zerozerozero greengreengreen lektrik caah Central Planning farce really has been. Of course, all the major players and guilty parties will be long-since retired, fat and happy on their government or corporate pensions or windfalls from pushing this bad joke. Dead and buried.
Yes, but they meant well! That's all that matters.

It’s a tax payers money theft scheme, that’s what it is. We went from Energy independence to dependence on Middle East oil in 3 months, just like that... poof.. all the hard work over the last 4 years lost to the Russian oil pipeline..

we have a criminal enterprise acting against the interests of common citizens. When does it make sense to import energy at the expense of your own exports? Please someone explain to me...
to save the Orca? Or the goose?
It makes sense if you work for The Other Side. Though this is obviously For Our Own Good, no matter how it falls out in 10 or 20 years.
 
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