Thursday, 24 August 2017

Quote of the Day: On unethical unreliables


“Just beneath the surface of cell phone, electric vehicle, computer, wind, solar and other technologies are some shocking and inconvenient truths. These products are not made from pixie dust or raw materials beamed in from the Starship Enterprise. All require lithium, rare earth metals, iron, copper, silica, petroleum and many other materials that must be dug out of the Earth, using human labour or fossil fuels.
    “Petroleum alone is the foundation for some
6,000 products besides fuels: paints, plastics, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and much more. Lithium is essential in computer and electric vehicle batteries, neodymium in NdFeB wind turbine generator magnets, cadmium in PV solar panels, petroleum-based resins in turbine blades…
    “[Tax, regulation and litigation] has forced mining companies to go overseas… [where] they are still pilloried, harassed and sued on a regular basis by radical groups in
Peru, Guatemala and elsewhere… These well-financed, self-righteous anti-mining assaults too often leave villagers jobless and the world dependent on shoddy state-run operations like the rare earth mines and processing facilities in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, and locally operated, often illegal “artisanal” mines in Africa and Asia. The environmental degradation and human health effects associated with these operations are horrendous….
    “Where are the Ben & Jerry’s and Fair Trade demands for justice? The Berkeley and Brown student protests, sit-ins and boycotts against Nokia, Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, Tesla, Vestas and Trina Solar? The demands that college endowment and teacher pension funds divest from these companies? The outraged US and EU student marchers in Baotou and Beijing, to support workers, Joshua Wong and Liu Xiaobo?
    “Where are the calls to replace state-run and artisanal mining operations with socially and environmentally responsible Western mining companies? Where is the WWF compensation to poor villagers for the wages, electricity, clean water and improved living standards they could have had?
    “Environmentalist policies don’t merely represent double standards. No matter how Greenpeace or the Sierra Club might disguise or sugarcoat them, radical green policies and campaigns are unjust, unethical, inhuman, imperialistic and racist.”

~ Paul Driessen, from his article ‘Fair Trade For Thee, But Not For Me

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