The resources race is on. Powering our digital lives and green technologies are some of the Earth’s most precious metals — but they are running out. And what will happen when they do?
The green-tech revolution has been lauded as the silver bullet to a new world. One that is at last free of oil, pollution, shortages, and cross-border tensions. Drawing on six years of research across a dozen countries, this book cuts across conventional green thinking to probe the hidden, dark side of green technology.
By breaking free of fossil fuels, we are in fact setting ourselves up for a new dependence — on rare metals such as cobalt, gold, and palladium. They are essential to electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, our smartphones, computers, tablets, and other everyday connected objects. China has captured the lion’s share of the rare metals industry, but consumers know very little about how they are mined and traded, or their environmental, economic, and geopolitical costs.
The Rare Metals War is a vital exposé of the ticking time-bomb that lies beneath our new technological order. It uncovers the reality of our lavish and ambitious environmental quest that involves risks as formidable as those it seeks to resolve.