Saturday, November 13, 2021

Climate Change Black Death:
   No, lithium production is not inherently an
   environmentally friendly way to the future

In Plans To Dig the Biggest Lithium Mine in the US Face Mounting Opposition you can learn about growing resistance to plans by Lithium America, mostly owned by China’s Ganfeng Lithium, the world’s largest producer of the element, to mine lithium at at Nevada's Thacker Pass.

    The opponents view lithium extraction as the latest gold rush, and fear that the desperation to abate the climate crisis is driving a race into avoidable environmental degradation. The flawed assumption behind the “clean energy transition,” they argue, is that it can maintain levels of consumption that are inherently unsustainable.
    “We want people to understand that ‘clean energy’ is not clean,” Max Wilbert, of the Protect Thacker Pass campaign, said. “We’re here because our allegiance is to the land. It’s not to cars. It’s not to high-energy, modern lifestyle. It’s to this place.”

The first thing we need to do is gain some perspective. The article notes:

    ...Despite the reduction in emissions that the widespread adoption of EVs would bring, the Center for Interdisciplinary Environmental Justice at the University of San Diego, an organization of concerned scientists who monitor harms to communities from mining, opposes the electrification of transportation. Their analysis shows that in order to stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide at 450 ppm by 2050—parts of gas per million parts of air—industrialized countries’ greenhouse gas emissions would have to decrease by 80 percent. Electric cars, the center’s researchers concluded, would achieve just 6 percent of that target, leading them to argue that driving electric vehicles is not a radical enough behavioral change to significantly slow climate change.

Of course,nothing about this is simple. But as we noted here in Climate Change Black Death surrounds us: Britain's "civilized debate" via lithium powered "devices" over solutions to the Climate Change crisis is fiddling while Rome (and the World) burns a similar dispute exists in California's Panamint Valley. The LA Times article included this video

Meanwhile at California's Salton Sea an alternative to mining is evolving:

This writer has pretty much given up discussing this subject area. In the first post here on August 2007 this writer first noted the problem with offshore wind generation along the Pacific Coast - the unknown and not yet discussed potential impact on Gray Whale migration. Additional posts have followed which can be reviewed here. The last post on the subject was Gray Whales threatened as Biden and Newsom push huge Pacific Coast wind farm developments.

The Democratic Party leadership are assuming a panicky demeanor regarding Climate Change. They should. It is literally not possible to avoid significant climate change impacts. And in what can only considered disturbing everyone - including scientists, politicians, and business leaders - only discuss impacts in terms of before the year 2100.

As noted here in The evolving 21st Century Promethean Calamity: "Implicatory" Climate Crisis Denial and Thunberg's GenZ demand to halt Climate Change Black Death Al Gore started telling us about this 45 years ago at age 28 after being elected to the United States House of Representatives and by 1989, 30 years ago, then U.S. Senator Al Gore, in frustration published an editorial in The Washington Post, in which he observed that people see their future welfare, their future well-being, one year at a time. 

In the Covid Crisis we learned that at least a third of our population see only their own household's future economic well-being, and even that at best one day at a time. That has effectively assured the sacrifice of the well-being of future generations.

As noted here in a previous post, in Elizabeth Kolbert's 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History she explains that the Earth is in the midst of a man-made sixth extinction, chronicling previous mass extinction events, and comparing them to the accelerated, widespread extinctions of our present time. In a July 2014 interview on The Daily Show with John Stewart promoting the book at the end they both acknowledge a kind of despair:

Perhaps we need to ask a question. Is it likely that the nation of humans that perfected world war will sacrifice any significant economic advantage to take on the climate problem?