interesting article Sunman. Looks like lithium has a big future. Guess it has to come from somewhere. Maybe we can get it from China?
If I may jump in here for a moment:
Top six lithium-producing countries in the world in 2019
- Australia – 42,000 tonnes. Australia is by far the world's top producer of lithium, with an output of 42,000 tonnes in 2019. ...
- Chile – 18,000 tonnes. ...
- China – 7,500 tonnes. ...
- Argentina – 6,400 tonnes. ...
- Zimbabwe – 1,600 tonnes. ...
- Portugal – 1,200 tonnes.
All of the lithium mining that has been done up to now is old lake beds/salt flats or hard rock mining. Extracting lithium from salt flats requires astronomical amounts of water (brine) to float the lithium to the surface. Hard rock mining of lithium requires chemicals to separate the lithium from the ore. Chemical "spills", polluted water, square miles of dead everything are a typical result. Extracting lithium from clay, as the Thacker Pass mine would do, requires both astronomical amounts of water (which will then be toxic) and chemicals (sulphur) which will be trucked in and converted to sulphuric acid, the remaining material dumped on the site for eternity.
The big rush to mine lithium is to provide batteries for so-called "green" electric cars. Mining and extraction of lithium requires fossil fuels (the Thacker Pass mine will use at least 10,000 gallons of diesel each day) The manufacturing of these cars require fossil fuel. The manufacturing of solar panels and wind turbines requires fossil fuel. The destruction of the land to place these solar facilities and wind "farms" also results in loss of the use of public land and death to plants and wildlife. There are also a number of rare earth minerals required for solar and wind, the mining of which requires fossil fuels and commonly produces dead land and dead people (often slave labor) Hydropower is likely to become back in vogue - also a user of fossil fuel to construct and resulting in dead rivers.
Edit to add: my sister just reminded me that nuclear power is also back on the table.
If this is "green" it is a putrid shade - like the early stages of gangrene. In reality it is no less deadly to the land base, plants and wildlife and eventually suicidal for the human race than the widespread use of fossil fuel.
This book is due to be released next month:
“This disturbing but very important book makes clear we must dig deeper than the normal solutions we are offered.”—Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia Works
We need a different answer.
Edited by teledork, 04 February 2021 - 04:55 PM.