Green Mobiles Are Unsustainable And Deadly by Robert Socha
Where do the rare earth minerals come from to manufacture the lithium-ion batteries that power everything from our mobile devices to automobiles?
A simple search online will yield results that mostly try to defend the green energy crusade. However, upon deeper investigation, it will point to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for cobalt and China for processing. Alarmingly, at this time, the United States appears to play an insignificant role in producing these minerals and must export them to be refined. I did learn that a new cobalt mine in Idaho is opening, but shockingly, the company indicates it is too costly to run without government aid.
In 2017 there was an alarming video exposing child labor in the DRC that has been dramatically debated these past six years, with the House of Representatives member Chris Smith finally, on June 30, 2023, introducing a Bill that would forbid using minerals mined in the DRC. This Bill also names China as a bad actor in the refining of these minerals obtained through child and slave labor. Still, it is ineffective and inadequate to produce substantial results in combating this immoral trade.
Representative Smith also reintroduced legislation to revoke China’s trade status, but it has fallen mainly on deaf ears. How does the United States maintain its headstrong rush to an all-electric vehicle future without China’s support in manufacturing the batteries required to sustain the industry? At this point, we are beholden to China for these “green energy” monstrosities.
A little over one year ago, I wrote about the “green industries” duplicity where it touts itself as the world’s saving institution because the oil-based economy is destroying the planet but is the more destructive force. I recently learned that its destructive pattern is much more severe. The appalling child and slave labor videos from DRC are the tip of the iceberg.
According to a Finnish report, insufficient rare earth minerals exist to produce these batteries long-term. Time will tell, but if the average life span of a car battery is ten years, what will that do to the resale values of the vehicles, and where will the old batteries be recycled? Tesla’s co-founder has a recycling plant in Nevada, but it appears there will be significant demand and limited capacity to accommodate the batteries’ end-of-life.
Gasoline taxes largely support our roads and infrastructure. Are the ideas proposed for electric vehicles’ tax adequate to support the lost revenue from these taxes? The streets are also designed to support the average vehicle weight, with internal combustion weighing just over two tons, whereas the average electric vehicle is just over three tons. Will this additional weight negatively impact the integrity of streets and highways? As more and more electric cars crowd the roadways, the answer will inevitably be yes.
Electric vehicle fires are another unreported fiasco explained at a recent public safety meeting. The fires burn so hot (up to 4,900 degrees Fahrenheit) that even fully submerging the fire cannot extinguish its flame! Fire departments can only manage and observe until the battery cells burn out, and often they will reignite once thought to be quenched. They also require special fighting equipment, which adds additional costs to municipal fire agencies. For example, agencies must replace protective fire suits used in combating an electric vehicle fire because of the contamination from the toxic minerals used in their production. The automobiles also require special treatment when being towed and segregated areas to be stored because they tend to reignite. This danger poses such a significant threat many towing agencies will not engage, and some municipalities resorted to dumping cars in the ocean via heavy machinery to help smother the flames.
Shame on the “green energy” pundits forcing this scheme down our throats. Shame on the automakers kowtowing to these insidious governmental demands. Shame on the legislatures and executives (especially the chief executive) pushing the electric agenda. The rush to alternative energy has created a religious mob mentality to obfuscate the potential dangers and castigate naysayers as radical and misinformed. The reality is the electric battery industry has pitfalls, many of which are swept under the rug, especially when they lead to the mining and refining of the minerals required for their manufacture and fatalities resulting in spontaneous combustion. We must acknowledge the industry’s imperfections and take the time to understand the issue, discuss “green energy’s” far-reaching implications, and engage in practical solutions that benefit all concerned.
Scripture warns us in Hosea 4:6 that people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Let us be like the Bereans who searched the Scripture to see if what Paul said is true (Acts 17) to explore and understand “green energy” implications. We should be diligent in understanding not only the things like electric vehicles, whose imposition affects our daily lives but especially things above which moth and rust cannot destroy.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here