The human cost of electric cars

Jo Nova has a cracker of a piece on the child labour involved in mining the rare earths for the batteries in your Tesla, not to mention the solar panels on your roof and the windmills that are saving the planet. It is not woke to give kids in the developing world clean and safe work making shoes but cobalt mines are AOK.

But if you only have time to read one post this morning, Read Steve Kates!

Welcome to the Clean Green Future. Demand for rechargeable car batteries is predicted to rise 700% in the next four years. But even at current levels, children are already dying in mines in the Congo, and farmers in Chile are being forced off their land.

The UN is now slightly “concerned” about a car battery boom which it helped create.

…a new report from UNCTAD, warns that the raw materials used in electric car batteries, are highly concentrated in a small number of countries, which raises a number of concerns.

…two-thirds of all cobalt production happens in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). According the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), about 20 per cent of cobalt supplied from the DRC comes from artisanal mines, where human rights abuses have been reported, and up to 40,000 children work in extremely dangerous conditions in the mines for meagre income.

And in Chile, lithium mining uses nearly 65% of the water in the country’s Salar de Atamaca region, one of the driest desert areas in the world, to pump out brines from drilled wells. This has forced local quinoa farmers and llama herders to migrate and abandon ancestral settlements. It has also contributed to environment degradation, landscape damage and soil contamination, groundwater depletion and pollution.

Liberty Quote – The so-called ‘resource curse’ is not a function of resources, but of weak institutional frameworks in some resource-rich developing countries. Australia, by contrast, scores very highly on comparative measures of institutional quality. — Stephen Kirchner

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13 Responses to The human cost of electric cars

  1. Bruce of Newcastle

    Cobalt price has had a bit of a slump lately.

    Plunging Aerospace And EV Demand Sends Cobalt Prices Tumbling (27 Jun)

    Cobalt from the DRC is used in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Much of it is exported to China, which suggests lower spot prices are the result of declining electric vehicle sales.

    Declining electrical goods sales also I suspect. In China they tend to use the cheaper but less powerful LiFePO4 battery, which doesn’t have cobalt in it. But high performance batteries in things like iPads and Teslas use cobalt to give max battery capacity for weight and size.

    There’s a lot of cobalt in Australia but it’s harder to extract than the DRC cobalt. Also between the Greens, native title and the Karenesque bureacracy it’s a long and arduous task to get a mine going, if ever.

  2. This will upset the enviro-fascists:

    NSW could become the first jurisdiction in the world to tax electric cars based on distance travelled – and automatically track vehicle odometers – in an attempt to make sure they pay their fair share.

    Off-peak electricity charges should also only apply to hot water systems, not car charging.

  3. Don

    “artisanal mines” – inner city lefties will think that’s great, just like that special bread they buy on a Saturday

  4. NoFixedAddress

    Save Humanity and The Environment – Ban the use of ‘electric’ car batteries, windmills and solar panels.

    Be Renewable Smart – Kill a Congo Kid Today.

    The only electric cars that actually work are ‘slot cars’.

  5. The only electric cars that actually work are ‘slot cars’.

    You forgot dodgem cars and golf carts.

  6. Roger

    Why…you’d think there’d be protests in the streets!

  7. Mark M

    They can plug ’em into the Sydney Town Hall for a charge, and perfect weather will appear!

    City of Sydney flicks the switch to 100% green power

    But, the CSIRO have a fleet of electric cars.

    Surely there is CSIRO paper highlighting the ability of CSIRO electric cars to prevent heat waves?

    Here on the GC, where the weather is beautiful one day, perfect the next, we are preparing for even more perfect climate, if that is possible …

    The City has introduced six fully electric vehicles to the Council fleet in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

  8. NoFixedAddress

    EV Efficiency – How many Congo Kids to the kilometre?

  9. NoFixedAddress

    Support Renewable Energy and help the Chinese Communist Party kill the environment for the People of China.

  10. John Bayley

    And yet Tesla is at all time high and is not far off becoming the largest car maker in the world by market capitalisation.
    They don’t even need to sell any cars any more.
    If you wanted to see proof of just how retarded this current central bank-created mega-bubble is, this is it.
    When it blows, it’s going to make the GFC look like a walk in the park.

  11. Rafe Champion

    That is what someone said wrote the 1990s Savings and Loans bailout when they saw the GFC coming!
    In the New York Times as well.

  12. Leo G

    City of Sydney flicks the switch to 100% green power

    That’s a lot of chlorophyll.

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