In pictures: South America's 'lithium fields' reveal the dark side of our electric future.
Retrofitted 11.2kw Mitsubishi Ecodan to new radiators commissioned November 2021.
The article fails to put lithium extraction in context with the environmental impact of human activity as a whole, as well as the benefit gained from these activities. Granted the evaporation ponds look vast, but given it produces ~10t of lithium a day, so enough for 300,000 Tesla cars (of unspecified battery size) a year.
Water rights will always be an issue in a desert; I see the proposals to desalinate water at the coast and pump it in has also come in for opposition for (coastal) environmental reasons. I would think Chile would be able to desalinate at a super-low cost given the superb solar resources.
Of course it is up to the government to ensure the benefits are equitably spread; direct jobs, tax revenue and the possibility of value-added jobs within the country to name a few. I'm not sure that society can ensure the happiness of all involved. Some people want to XYZ, others want to stop the impact (both known and unknown) of XYZ.
@morgan - I did read somewhere that we are about 40[ish] years away from a full closed loop system for EV batteries, so no mining needed, 100% of battery materials recycled. Getting there will take time and requires economies of scale and some very long term thinking. (so decision making needs to be taken out of groups with "interests" that have a 5 year or less horizon). China will achieve this, for sure, will European regulation achieve this. We will see.
Question is will there still be a habitable planet in 40-ish years time 😥
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