Anyone who demands we transition to green energy is endorsing slavery. Period.
China is the largest single provider of most of the critical minerals and rare earths used around the globe, and is almost the only refiner of such products. This means minerals and rare earth elements mined elsewhere, often with Chinese funding, are shipped to China for processing into usable materials. Much of the mining and refining of materials in China is produced by forced or slave labor, often of persecuted religious minorities, like Falun Gong followers and Uighurs.
To be clear, those pushing Net Zero goals, like Democrats in Congress, green energy elites profiting from government support in the form of mandates and subsidies, and the Biden administration, know child- and slave-labor are used to produce the minerals their green technologies depend upon. They claim to care about human rights, but their actions belie their words.
But scientists warn there will be an environmental price to pay for this drive to create a world powered by green technology. Prospecting for the materials to construct these devices, then mining them, could have very serious ecological consequences and major impacts on biodiversity, they say.
“The move towards net zero carbon emissions is going to create new stresses on our planet, at least in the short term,” said Prof Richard Herrington, head of earth sciences at the Natural History Museum, London. “We are going to have to learn how to consider profit and loss with regard to ecosystems just as we do now when we are considering economic issues.”
Metals such as lithium and cobalt provide examples of the awkward issues that lie ahead, said Herrington. Both elements are needed to make lightweight rechargeable batteries for electric cars and for storing power from wind and solar plants. Their production is likely to increase significantly over the next decade – and that could cause serious ecological problems.
In the case of cobalt, 60% of the world’s supply comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo where large numbers of unregulated mines use children as young as seven as miners. There they breathe in cobalt-laden dust that can cause fatal lung ailments while working tunnels that are liable to collapse.
All of this has been documented so much over the years by so many organizations that "I didn't know" is as morally empty as can be. If you endorse using green energy what you are really saying about slavery is that you do know, but you do not care.