If you are in favor of child slave labor, increased pesticide use, and toxic waste then green energy is for you. Smug liberal progressives turn their noses up at people, not as enlightened as they are while driving a green energy car, not realizing the damage they are doing. Green technology and green energy are far from environmental.
The electric cars being driven on today's roads have a deep dark secret. Because they do not have combustion engines, they need batteries. Whether the batteries are lithium ion or nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA) based battery cells, they have one thing in common. The batteries need cobalt. Most electric cars have at least 33 pounds of cobalt in them.
Cobalt is primarily mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC has over 60 percent of the known reserves of cobalt and houses many international mining firms. The mining industry in the DRC is not known for its safety and environmental standards.
Children as young as 5 use hand tools to dig for the toxic metal. The metal is so toxic it has a disease named after it. Cobalt lung is a pneumonia-like disease that can lead to death. The children are threatened with beatings if they misidentify or drop the mineral.
From the DRC, the cobalt is shipped to China, using a ship with an internal combustion engine, to be manufactured into batteries for everything from iPhones to electric vehicles. So, remember the next time someone brags about their electric vehicle helping the earth, remind them child slavery helped make that.
Another darling of the green energy cult is solar panels. Just think about it, the sun is the ultimate renewable energy source. But the problem lies with production and disposal of the panels, along with storing the electricity generated.
The electricity generated from solar panels must be used immediately or stored. The electricity is stored using the same types of batteries as mentioned earlier.
The manufacture and disposal of solar panels is a toxic process. Manufacturing the panels involves hazardous chemicals and materials such as sulfuric acid and phosphine gas. Breaking down the panels is equally as hazardous. Because of the toxic makeup of the panels, they cannot be simply thrown into landfills.
Currently, the only copper parts of the panels can be reused after the panels have been discarded. However, to get to the copper the panels are being burned, releasing the toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. Finally, because more solar panels are needed to generate the same amount of electricity as more traditional means of electricity, it means solar is generating more waste than traditional means of power generation per unit of electricity.
Windmills are another darling of the green energy cult.
The turbines have had a side effect that would make any environmentalist recoil with disgust. The windmills are killing millions of animals every year.
Not only are they killing birds, the turbines are killing endangered species. The Hoary bats are indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands, and currently, maintain a spot on the endangered species list. Since the installation of five windmill farms on the islands over 100 of the bats have been killed. The farms were only supposed to kill 187 over a time frame stretching to 2030. If nothing is done, the bats are expected to be extinct by 2050.
Taxpayers are subsidizing child slavery in Africa, toxic solar waste, and the windfarms that kill millions of flying animals. It is time for the government to get out of the green energy business, and let the free market decide the best energy solutions for the U.S. economy.
Printus LeBlanc is a contributing reporter with Americans for Limited Government