EV mania – do electric cars really live up to the promise of clean green tech?
Updated: May 18
By Staci-lee Sherwood
In September 2022 the California Governor Gavin Newsom said the unthinkable, that he wanted the state to have gas free cars. Even more shocking is the timetable of just a few years for this to happen. We as a country have been sending rockets into space for over half a century and built the International Space Station so it’s well within our doing to invent a way to have gas free cars. The political will and oil industry push back will be the deciding factor.
Whenever industry or government makes promises they rarely live up to the hype. This is partly because both have a vested interest in self preservation and often say anything to maintain their position of power. For the public this never benefits them so they must be vigilant in researching how the reality lives up to the promise. The electric car is a prime example. It does not live up to the hype and in fact is not truly clean or green at all.
If zero emissions is the only bar to meet, then electric cars and nuclear power meet that standard. However this is not the only concern with electric cars. A truly clean product must be as sustainable with the least amount of environmental damage as possible from cradle to grave. With the EV cars the end result may qualify as ‘green’ but how you get to that point is as dirty and polluting as it gets. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is vital in sustaining any life on the planet but equally important is having drinkable water. What is the point of trying to clean up air pollution and slow the heating of the planet if at the same time this uses up all the water and pollutes what is left? How does that sustain life? It doesn’t it’s an equal killer.
Click here to read about some of the concerns about lithium mining https://www.seattletimes.com/business/a-war-is-brewing-over-lithium-mining-at-the-edge-of-death-valley/
The batteries needed for these cars require Lithium, often called ‘white gold’. Mining for lithium uses huge amounts of water, at a time when the country and world face record droughts, heat waves and wildfires. Justification of this massive water usage is out of step with the reality of a shrinking natural resource needed to sustain all life. Let’s not overlook how most drinking water is already quite contaminated and not truly recommended for drinking.
The process of mining can forever destroy the land and water used. Every chemical that leaks into the water and land gets absorbed into the air and comes down in rain contaminating more places. No doubt more trees would have to be cut down to clear the land in preparation. Without trees we won’t have oxygen to breathe. What about all the gas used to ship via trucks/planes/boats the lithium to then be manufactured and then that product gets shipped out.
This is the true cradle to grave costs which are not openly talked about by anyone. Forget the corporate ‘media’ informing the public they have sold out years ago and are no longer a place to get information needed to make intelligent decisions. Too many have jumped on the ‘green tech’ bandwagon without knowing what exactly that is or how little truly exists right now. If the process is polluting at any point in the pipeline of creation it is NOT clean, green or sustainable if we’re being honest.
Click here to read how the public is made to think they’re being informed when that is not true
Click here to see how some big newspapers, New York Times and Washington Post, have some of the most polluting corporations as clients for their private branding companies. All this taints the news they report in one way or another.
Just in case you thought the federal agencies you support through taxes work in the public’s best interest they do not. These are the same agencies that approve the permits to the companies involved in much of the green tech wave. Most notable is the Bureau of Land Management which hands out permits for lithium mining. They also remove protected wild horses and burros from the land to help pave the way for these mines. They work in conjunction with industry to spin the negative impacts (often lying). Click here to read how these agencies have their own non profits with some of the biggest polluters as ‘donors’.
In February 2022 the Nevada Dept of Environmental Protection issued the mining company, Lithium America, permits to start mining at Thacker Pass. Contrary to what the PR spin is, this project did not get an honest and thorough review. If it had it would never have been allowed to proceed. Even ranchers have aligned with environmental groups and local tribes calling on the government to deny the permit, they did not succeed. Lithium mining is a multi-billion dollar industry so the forces pushing it are pretty unbreakable at this point.
Much of the support was driven, at least initially, by those looking to reduce green house gasses. If that is the only benchmark one looks at other problems might be missed, some might even make things worse in the long run. All aspects of any issue or project must be given an equal review or the full impact will not be understood. Click here to read about lawsuits to stop Thacker Pass mine. https://www.basinandrangewatch.org/Thacker-Pass.html
In order to get to the deposits which sit inside an extinct super volcano, the McDermitt Caldera, workers will blow up the mountain top. The project is more worrisome because of all the water it will take in a desert state. Contamination could last forever. How the blasting will affect the ‘extinct’ volcano no one can say for sure. Sounds like mountain top removal by coal miners.
An aerial look at the Silver Peak, Nevada, lithium mining operation. The project is currently the only operating lithium mine in the United States
According to the International Energy Agency, the average electric car requires six times more minerals to construct than a conventional car. Then we have the freebies industry gets from mining on public land. There is never a cleanup, assuming you believe toxic chemicals can be removed from water, soil and air after months and years of exposure. There is little cost for companies who dump indiscriminately, virtually no oversight or public input. The public is left out at critical stages of decision making and never given accurate, honest data in a timely fashion. This is all by design to hinder opposition.
With so many questions and obvious looming devastation, the EV car will never live up to the hype. Even worse is the damage to the water, land and air it will leave as its legacy. Think of all the native wildlife removed from their home and killed to make way for this. Think of all the remaining wild animals having to feed, live and raise young with all this noise and toxic chemicals in the background. Would you want to live in such a place? Does the EV car really live up to the promise of being clean and green when all issues are factored in? No it doesn’t.
Read more about the issues of lithium mining here
Also published on Emagazine on May 11, 2023