portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting global

bikes/transportation | energy & nuclear

when green energy isn't green, the case against Lithium

Yet social impacts on South America and Bolivia in particular are still being debated, and it may already be too late to change course given the economic engines of progress are fueled up for the race to Bolivia's lithium. Moreover, South American governments have a history of corruption; leading to the probability that irreversible environmental damage to Bolivian land and communities due to the past 500 years of exploitive mining may continue unabated [316].

Furthermore, an alarming report from Meridian International Research confirms that "mass production of Lithium Carbonate will cause irreparable ecological damage to ecosystems" [317] and ads, "LiIon propulsion is incompatible with the notion of the Green Car". Vast areas of wilderness will have to be sacrificed to create settling ponds for the Lithium Carbonate mixture to vaporize. Other concerns include the effects of the refining structures and processes on people and animals. According to chemist Pedro Crespo Avizuri; "A key question is what to do with the mountains of magnesium we'll make in the process" [316]. And this is just the tip of the iceberg as Lithium isn't the only metal found in this new breed of batteries.

Lithium batteries also contain cobalt, copper, nickel, iron, and a brew of polymers which according to the federal government; do not pose any hazardous risks to the environment. Consequently, 2 billion lithium ion batteries are ending up in landfills and incinerators each year [318] despite Europe's growing trend towards sustainability and the ever increasing demand for these materials.

tells the whole of this tale, the position of especial importance that is Bolivia....the "fragile economics, fragile ecologics and fragile/explosive politic that are involved.

This of course is only the battery itself. There is also the generation of electricity to "fill" them. Biofuels, coal, wind, electric or that unmentionable source Nuke plants!!!! there, its uttered. All come with non-green consequences, even wind. For that we need that highly refined poklution generating silicon! Coal is the greatest threat of nuclear radiation, regular and predictable and greater than even nuke plants themselves except when one of those (irregularly and unpredictably)goes critical.

"Whether we choose to follow the breadcrumbs history provides or investigate new leads; the politician, the banker, and that old antagonist - risk, might not always be central characters in a techno-thriller like this, but one fact remains that we should not lose sight of. The motive for any great detective story; someone always dies in the beginning.

Society's best intentions are often misguided and it isn't until some catastrophic event that meaningful progress is deemed necessary. The proof is in the words of the world's greatest detective, Albert Einstein, who said, "The splitting of the atom has changed everything save man's mode of thinking, thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe". [320] Let us hope that society can make better use of this technology and change its way of acting, if not it's way of thinking before it is too late."


We've been here before. Let us not forget the oil crisis of 73 [308] spawned by political tensions in the Middle East which served as the precursor to the technological stagnation and demise of the electric car during the 80's [309], due to the oil industry and bad politics as many suspect. Perhaps it is a sign of rational thinking that oil companies like Exxon [310] are researching and patenting integral lithium battery components. Given their track record, perhaps it's a lesson we should be mournful of. Either way, it would serve society well to reign in the usual suspects before any crimes are perpetrated and countless resources fall by the waist side once again."