Thursday, July 29, 2021

So, Electric Cars Are Destroying the Planet. Uh, Okay


Wind power doesn't even come close to providing enough energy to charge America, and it's bad for the environment, especially eagles (and don't mention Third World exploitation).

Leftists are despicable ghouls. 

At LAT, "California’s electric car revolution, designed to save the planet, also unleashes a toll on it":

SAN DIEGO — The precious cargo on the ship docked in San Diego Bay was strikingly small for a vessel built to drag oil rigs out to sea. Machines tethered to this hulking ship had plucked rocks the size of a child’s fist from the ocean floor thousands of miles into the Pacific.

The mission was delicate and controversial — with broad implications for the planet.

Investors are betting tens of millions of dollars that these black nodules packed with metals used in electric car batteries are the ticket for the United States to recapture supremacy over the green economy — and to keep up with a global transportation revolution started by California.

Alongside his docked ship, Gerard Barron, chief executive of the Metals Co., held in his hand one of the nodules he argues can help save the planet. “We have to be bold and we have to be prepared to look at new frontiers,” he said. “Climate change isn’t something that’s waiting around for us to figure it out.”

The urgency with which his company and a few others are moving to start scraping the seabed for these materials alarms oceanographers and advocates, who warn they are literally in uncharted waters. Much is unknown about life on the deep sea floor, and vacuuming swaths of it clean threatens to have unintended and far-reaching consequences.

The drama playing out in the deep sea is just one act in a fast unfolding, ethically challenging and economically complex debate that stretches around the world, from the cobalt mines of Congo to the corridors of the Biden White House to fragile desert habitats throughout the West where vast deposits of lithium lay beneath the ground.

The state of California is inexorably intertwined in this drama. Not just because extraction companies are aggressively surveying the state’s landscapes for opportunities to mine and process the materials. But because California is leading the drive toward electric cars.

No state has exported more policy innovations — including on climate, equality, the economy — than California, a trend accelerating under the Biden administration. The state relishes its role as the nation’s think tank, though the course it charts for the country has, at times, veered in unanticipated directions.

“The ocean is the place on the planet where we know least about what species exist and how they function,” Douglas McCauley, a marine science professor at UC Santa Barbara, said of plans to scrape the seafloor. “This is like opening a Pandora’s box.... We’re concerned this won’t do much good for climate change, but it will do irreversible harm to the ocean.”

The sprint to supply automakers with heavy-duty lithium batteries is propelled by climate-conscious countries like the United States that aspire to abandon gas-powered cars and SUVs. They are racing to secure the materials needed to go electric, and the Biden administration is under pressure to fast-track mammoth extraction projects that threaten to unleash their own environmental fallout.

In far-flung patches of the ocean floor, at Native American ancestral sites, and on some of the most pristine federal lands, extraction and mining companies are branding themselves stewards of sustainability, warning the planet will suffer if digging and scraping are delayed. All the prospecting is giving pause to some of the environmental groups championing climate action, as they assess whether the sacrifice needed to curb warming is being shared fairly...

Keep reading.