Some who have a life besides wondering why about everything, might wonder what “virtue signaling” is when they read this. It is an important pair of words when put into the context of people caring about the world around them, the environment, and the well-being of their fellow man.
Journalist Siddharth Kara dare not carry a camera. The mining company and state armed guards in the Democratic Republic of Congo have a poorly kept secret. It’s artisanal mining. (It’s not like expensive crusty bread and tangy cheese.)
Some with picks and shovels and some with bare hands, it’s a family affair, from little children to grandma and grandpa finding cobalt for EVs (electric vehicles). Three fourths of the world’s cobalt comes from the Congo. With 10% of auto sales now EVs, cobalt demand has increased a whopping 70 times. That has increased the use of cobalt enough that mechanical means can’t keep up. Imagine the conundrum the holier-than-thou autocrats face in going totally fossil fuel free when they are the greatest battery of all. Fossil fuels have been storing solar energy naturally for centuries.
EVs are purported to be a large part of a transition away from the fossil fuels that enable human life on Earth even though only 29% of fossil fuel usage goes for transportation. Cars are highly visible so those EVs inflate self esteem.
Look at the rich and powerful. Fossil fuels power their private jets to take these superior human beings to Davos, Switzerland, and the World Economic Forum where they can plan a more pristine existence for the rest of us. People actually concerned about climate change would choose to have meetings online, right?
The people on the private jets will be found out eventually, change their minds, and proclaim the earth is dangerously cooling instead. That will enrich the bank accounts of their mansion dwelling friends when the industries in which they bought stock become popular solutions to the newly imagined problem.
I’ve had friends who called our country’s founding documents evil because 250 years ago the authors owned slaves. They use this as a way to declare the contents of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution untenable.
As long as we’ve mentioned stock ownership we should delve into the situation in the Congo. Does an EV owner have some responsibility as far as issues surrounding acquisition of materials used in their cars?
Oil spills ultimately drive up the cost of fossil fuels as the industry accumulates expenses in restoring damaged areas to their natural state.
In the case of EVs the damage is slavery. How do EV manufacturers compensate thousands for time and health lost to their time in the dust and blazing sun? There are two reasons the cobalt mines have armed guards everywhere. One is to keep cameras from exposing the horrific conditions. The other is to keep the slaves from running away.
There are cobalt mines operated with machinery. And these would be enough if lithium batteries only powered phones and flashlights. But a 1,000 pound battery in an EV ups the game considerably (besides making an EV more deadly in a crash).
Basically, the people pushing for the elimination of fossil fuels are at least as guilty of owning slaves as those dastardly Founding Fathers who designed the most prosperous economy on Earth. The ones who own electric cars as a statement of righteousness are either ignorant or despicable in their virtue signaling.
You wrote, “… when put into the context of people caring about the world around them.” Nah, people care about polishing-up their own feelings with their virtue signaling — also, it’s a way to say, “Hey, look at me, I’m a wonderful person.”
What’s going–on in The Congo may not be acceptable to you, but to people who have never known better, the jobs in the mining companies may be the way forward to prevent starvation and to a, perhaps, modestly better life. You get what you tolerate and if the people in The Congo tolerate the alleged hardships working these pit-mines, then so be it. I suppose you could adopt several of The Congo families, financing their lives and educating them, if one genuinely “feels” for and cares-about these poor waifs. Look at what we in the USA are tolerating each and every day. A presidential administration determined to erase all white people, all the “thinkers” which are left in the country. How about the people tolerating the open borders and the deliberate dilution of the intelligence, skills, and talents of today’s USA population? We also tolerated the Covid nonsense of lockdowns, business closings, masking, social distancing, and vaccine mandates. And how about the silly global warming regulations with the edict of ridding the country (and planet) of abiotic (aka, fossil) fuels? The list goes on and on fo what the U.S. populous tolerates.
I rather doubt the elites who manage the country’s affairs will switch from a global warming scare to a global cooling scenario. There are just too many companies, jobs, educators, scientists, NGOs, and think-tanks dependent on the anthropogenic scare for livelihoods.
There will never be a wholesale switch to EVs exclusively, unless our rulers are successful in developing “15-minute cities” across the nation. Quite simply, the natural rare earth elements that are necessary for the batteries are in too short supply, also, the electric grid as it exists today cannot handle the added electricity requirements required by massive EV charging, lastly, the cost versus revenue, or profit, will not pencil-out for entrepreneurs who think they want to get into supplying EV charging stations — same with maintenance of these charging stations which is a losing proposition for the owners/providers (it’s why so many charging stations out there suffer breakdowns which are never repaired
Back in the day, there were more white slaves then black. White slaves in the U.S. preceded black slaves. People think it’s entirely to look at history through a lens of the culture of today and what is, and is not, appropriate. It’s absurd, like looking at the Russia’s liberation of the Donbass in Ukraine as though all the context and all the history began with Putin’s February 24, 2022 invasion.
As to slavery, I would say that the population of the USA is enslaved by police-state rulers who we have been allegedly “elected.” And the ignorant, unthinking masses will continue to vote for the same masters.