As brines evaporate from the flat salt, the Atacama people of Chile watch helplessly as their ancestral lands dry up and die. Well-funded extremist gangs from Uganda are pushing children as young as six into cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, eliminating any chance of a better life.
Members of the Fort McDermitt tribe and nearby ranchers fight to prevent a mining company, Lithium Nevada, from destroying a cemetery and farmland.
Meanwhile, politicians like California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, are flaunting their “tough” environmental stance by saying things like “We’re leading the revolution toward a future of zero-emissions transportation” when they ban gas vehicles.
Political figures such as Newsom and former Vice President Joe Biden have argued that electric cars are “zero emissions” because they use lithium-ion batteries (made of lithium, cobalt, graphite, and other elements) instead of gasoline.
Several states plan to follow in California’s footsteps and ban the sale of petrol cars starting in 2035. These states have hailed the ban as an “important milestone in our fight for the climate” on social media platforms like Twitter.
A statement issued by Biden said that eliminating the sale of gas-powered cars “will save customers money, reduce pollution, enhance public health, advance environmental justice and solve the climate problem.”
The director of Great Basin Resource Watch, John Hadder, disputed these statements, pointing out to The Epoch Times that while “industrial” nations might benefit from the transition to electric vehicles, this comes at the expense of other countries.
Frontline communities absorbing the ‘shock’ of this mining growth [de litio]”
One of the largest reserves of lithium in the world is located in Copiapo, the capital of the Chilean Atacama region.
Before that there was a river that no longer exists. “There is not a single drop of water,” said Elena Rivera Cardoso, an indigenous kola leader, from the Copiapo community, before the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC).
He went on to say that a nearby lithium mine was responsible for depleting Chile’s water supply. We, as humans and Chileans, have less right to water than corporations, so it is not surprising that rivers and lakes have dried up across the country.
The Energy Research Institute confirms Cardusa’s estimate that 65% of the region’s fresh water supply is lost through evaporation of brine from the salt flat.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, this is forcing farmers and ranchers to abandon their ancestral settlements in the Atacama due to the cracked and dry soil. This is the uprooting of the indigenous tribes that have lived in the area for more than 6000 years (UNCTAD).
A proposed mine in northern Nevada
Communities in northern Nevada are fighting to prevent the destruction of their ancestral lands by a nearby lithium mine.
Hader told The Epoch Times, “The farm towns on both sides of the corridor are likely to change forever.” Their ability to farm and raise livestock may be affected [mina del paso de Thacker]. Water scarcity is expected to increase and air pollution to worsen.
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