Wealthy countries’ actions, to meet their emission goals, show little concern for the humanity atrocities and the environment degradation in “other” countries.
Published August 19, 2023, at the Heartland Institute https://heartland.org/opinion/carnage-of-child-labor-and-ecological-destruction-elsewhere-acceptable-to-wealthy-countries/
Ronald Stein is an engineer, senior policy advisor on energy literacy for the Heartland Institute and CFACT, and co-author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated book “Clean Energy Exploitations.”
Global cobalt demand soared with the advent of cell phones and laptop computers. Cobalt improves battery performance, extends driving range and reduces fire risks. Now, cobalt, lithium, and other materials are exploding with the arrival of electric vehicles in tandem with government EV mandates and subsidies.
All that electrical transformation equipment will require billions of tons of cobalt, lithium, copper, nickel, graphite, iron, aluminum, rare earths, and other raw materials at scales unprecedented in human history. That will necessitate mining, ore processing, manufacturing, land disruption and pollution at equally unprecedented levels.
The Administration is laser-focused on ending the “climate crisis” by switching to “clean” electricity. It has few qualms about importing the critically needed materials from foreign countries, primarily China – regardless of economic, defense, national security, ecological or human rights implications. It just wants the dirty aspects of “clean” electricity far away and out of sight.
Cobalt mining involves unimaginable horrors that are never discussed by environmentalists nor by government leaders. However, the Biden Administration opposes mining in the United States even under stringent US pollution, workplace safety and mined-land reclamation regulations.
An educational and entertaining 45-minute discussion between Stu Turley of Sandstone Media’s Energy News Beat and Ronald Stein about “Clean Energy Exploitations” brings transparency to the humanity exploitations and environmental degradation in the developing countries that are mining for the exotic minerals and metals required to create the batteries needed to store “green electricity”. Just a few minutes into the video I provide an explanation of the exploitations that should be considered in the buying process for an EV that should be viewed by all environmentalists and government leaders.
In California, Governor Gavin Newsom has been vocal about his commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state. However, some of his recent actions of “leaking” emissions to other countries violate many sections of the written legal framework of The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32).
We hear much about reparations for descendants of American slaves, but little about reparations for Native Americans, and zilch about compensating these modern-day slaves in developing countries like those in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa that holds 72 percent of the world’s known supplies of cobalt.
The silence is deafening from billionaires like Bill Gates, John Kerry, Mark Zuckerberg, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and President Biden. Through the encouragement of tax incentives and subsidies to go to EV’s and electricity from wind and solar, they are providing financial incentives to China, who already controls the supply chain for the minerals and metals to go green, furthering our total dependence on China to achieve the green goals of America.
With demographics of EV owners predominantly middle-aged white men earning more than $100,000 per year, Social Security shows that the national average wage index for 2021 is only $60,575 ($40,000 less than the average EV owner). US News recently reported that more than 60 percent of adults are living from paycheck to paycheck and that 48 percent of Americans with annual incomes over $100,000 are also living paycheck to paycheck. As U.S. consumers struggle to afford their day-to-day lifestyle, many are relying on credit cards or dipping into savings, making them financially vulnerable.
Besides the affordability of ANY new car, ICE or EV, is it ethical and morally responsible to purchase an EV knowing where the supply chain of EV battery materials originates?
Those that are less fortunate in poorer developing countries are the ones mining for exotic minerals and metals to support the movement in wealthy countries to EV’s and intermittent electricity from wind and solar.
The wealthy country elites continue to demonstrate their lack of ethical, moral, and social responsibilities, by using subsidies that encourage the continued exploitations of people with yellow, brown, and black skin and the environmental degradation occurring “elsewhere”, out of view of those living in wealthy countries.
Ronald Stein, P.E.
Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure