Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rare-earth mining comes at a cost

Turns out our meaningless high tech gadgets are made from things, and that those things need to be mined, by poor people generally, and that this has effects on their local communities. Who could ever have foreseen this.

Note that the most splendid of all Green Technology™, electric cars, is the primary reason for poisoning Inner Mongolian villagers. Wind farms is another wonderfully Green Technology™ that lets us white folk sleep at night whilst exploited people die of cancer.

«The foul waters of the tailings pond contain all sorts of toxic chemicals, but also radioactive elements such as thorium which, if ingested, cause cancers of the pancreas and lungs, and leukaemia. "Before the factories were built, there were just fields here as far as the eye can see. In the place of this radioactive sludge, there were watermelons, aubergines and tomatoes," says Li Guirong with a sigh.»

Sobering and chilling at the same time, and, above all, utterly disgusting.
I always argue this point with people who are obsessed with Green Tech. But then I come off as the argumentative pessimist and people then ask 'what would you do?' to which my preferred reply of 'tear up civilisation from the roots' doesn't go down well. It's obvious to anyone who looks closely enough that Green Cars are a dangerous oxymoron, even if we made carbon negative cars we would still need roads, and more of them to drive all our clean cars on. All technology esp when scaled up has massively negative consequences - wind turbines, hybrid cars, solar panels etc. We need to move away from the grid systems which supply this. I appreciate that civis isn't gonna come crashing down overnight and that community wind turbines are hardly the worst evil, but it's about reducing our consumption not swapping it for something else. The ideology of growth is what's at stake not the materials used in our gadgets.
Right on.

The conclusion "technology is neutral" only makes sense if you accept the premise: technology appears out of nothing, as if by deus ex machina. Only if you pretend rare-earth mining isn't necessary, and that the colonisation of Africa didn't happen, and that those Vietnamese sweatshops don't exist, and so on, could you ever say that "green cars" are good. And even if we ignore the production costs of a "green car," it still pollutes. "Sustainable technology" reveals itself as an oxymoron when it is subjected to the metaphysical whole it exists within.

I probably overuse this quote, but it is very good: «Progress is the myth that assures us that full-speed-ahead is never wrong. Ecology is the discipline that teaches us that it is disaster.» Kirkpatrick Sale was absolutely right in his analysis of the myth of progress.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)