The United Nations has put out a warning that the surge in demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has caused human rights abuse and environmental damage in mining for rare earth metals used in batteries.
Rare Earth Metals
Making batteries efficient and power-dense requires rare earth metals and minerals like cobalt and lithium. While they can be found in a variety of places, much of the world’s production is done in a few developing nations with a long record of human rights offenses and lack of respect for the environment.
Congo and Chile
According to UNICEF, two-thirds of the world’s cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and 20% of its output comes from artisanal mines, where up to 40,000 children work in dangerous and unhealthy conditions for almost no pay.
In Chile, lithium mining uses up to 65% of the fresh water in the Salar de Atamaca region and damages the local environment.
These human and environmental costs are usually ignored, by environmentalists, politicians, and the EV industry. By posting a warning about these abuses, the United Nations is trying to instigate a much-needed debate about the dark side of environmental pet projects.
One Drop of Oil
The rush to electric vehicles does not make sense from an economic, environmental, or human rights perspective. It is based on the extreme and irrational notion that even one drop of oil is evil. The alternative that makes the most sense is the plug-in hybrid. It combines all the advantages of the electric vehicle and the ordinary gasoline-based car. Plug-ins typically have a battery one-fifth the size of a pure EV. They, therefore, have an 80% less damaging impact on the environment and abusive mining practices.
The hybrid gives a range of about 30 miles, which is sufficient for the daily needs of 95% of urban traffic. On the rare occasion that one needs to travel further, the hybrid kicks in to its gasoline mode, allowing the same kind of range as ordinary cars. With its much smaller battery, no special charger is needed. You can plug it into an ordinary socket. Since it operates as an EV in urban settings, it eliminates smog and reduces noise.
Hybrids also have a far smaller carbon footprint than electric vehicles, because mining rare earth metals for batteries demands a lot of fossil fuels. The only disadvantage of hybrids is that they are currently more expensive than gasoline cars. The main reason for this, however, is a lack of research and development. It is pure EVs that have been prioritized and subsidized by politicians.
If car manufacturers were as serious about plug-in hybrid development as they are about EVs, plug-ins could completely dominate the market. However, the current fetish for EVs, accompanied by massive subsidization, is standing in the way of progress.
Read more from Onar Åm .
Do you have an opinion about this article? We’d love to hear it! If you send your comments to [email protected], we might even publish your edited remarks in our new feature, LN Readers Speak Out. Remember to include the title of the article along with your name, city, and state.
Please respect our republishing guidelines. Republication permission does not equal site endorsement. Click here.
Liberty Nation Today:
Liberty Nation On The Go: Listen to Today’s Top News - Conservative News - Hot Off The Press - Audio Playlist - AD FREE - Listen Now!
McCaul Strives to Get to the Bottom of the Afghanistan Debacle - House Foreign Affairs Committee demands secretary of state produce documents. - Read Now!
The First Domino in a Banking Burnout? – LN Radio Videocast - Stopping the spread. - Watch Now!
San Francisco: Crime and No Punishment - CNN reporters found out firsthand that San Francisco’s crime policies don’t work. - Read Now!
Are Alvin Bragg’s Dreams of Indictment Derailing? - Delays and cautions could signal the end of the whole show. - Read Now!