In pictures: South America's 'lithium fields' reveal the dark side of our electric future

A lithium leach-field in South America.

Demand for lithium-ion batteries is unprecedented - but is 

mining the chemical harmful to the environment? Story here.


Larry Powell said…
As a "green-freak," this is hard for me to see. I've been living in hope that authorities would make sure, through regulation, that the extraction of these critical minerals would be done in the most responsible, least damaging way possible. How naive is that! It's not unlike the wild-west approach that's been taken with fossil fuels over the years - fill your boots and the Devil take the hindmost! I just wish you "petro-boosters" out there would stop rubbing your hands in glee, as much as to say - "Yay! One less way to save the Planet from burning! Yay!" As if you have "won something!" No, you haven't! What it means is that ways of creating a better, safer future for ourselves & our children are narrowing fast. Short of a drastic reduction in the world's human population - and a dramatic shift in attitudes (that we need (want) everything now and at least two of what we do not have - & we all know how like those things are to happen) we are screwed. The brightest thought I heard at coffee this morning came from a guy who was worried - not about wildfires, flash floods, atmospheric rivers, multi-year droughts or polar votexes - but about the possibility we might have to wear wooden shoes (given that many are now made with petroleum products). If that is an example of the best we can do to get our heads together collectively to find a realistic solution - I say - STOP THE WORLD & LET ME OFF!

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