It’s widely accepted that electric vehicles [EV] are a solution to the fossil-fuel problem. Unfortunately, the huge demand for lithium and other minerals is actually creating another massive wave of environmental degradation and environmental injustice. Have we learned nothing in the last 100 years about the disastrous effects of colonialism and irresponsible extraction‽
We first raised this issue in 2020, with a blog post on ‘Clean Energy, batteries, & mining‘. In the spring of 2021, Sustainable Lehigh Valley published Ian Morse’s piece on ‘Global Environmental Justice‘. Since then, we’ve followed up with several other posts:
- ‘How electric vehicles can actually undermine a sustainable future‘
- ‘Obscene treaty symbolizes what’s wrong‘
- ‘Recognize the Rights of Nature‘
- ‘Thacker Pass project — another travesty‘
- ‘Reimagining our relationship with nature‘.
Today, I’d like to call your attention to a new article that indicates that there’s been some progress in this area, but also clearly shows the ‘business as usual’ mindset of the government and the extractive/mining industry — and how climate movements think climate urgency justifies obscene levels of extraction and environmental injustice.
P* Part II of Christopher Ketcham’s ‘Green-Tinted Glasses’ series on TruthDig.
If extraction is causing major problems such as those described above, the answer is not to just charge forward, but to recognize that current EV tech is not acceptable. Find a better solution!