The dirty side effects of Green Energy

The change in climate continues to be one of the most critical dangers to the honour of life on planet Earth. Fortunately, most of the equipment required in stopping global warming exist already. The use of recyclable energy resources is spreading in the West; however, the electric vehicles production, solar cells and wind turbines require to be scaled up. To source every power from recyclables by the year 2050, citizens need about 1 billion other electric vehicles and an additional of a 30-fold boost in solar photovoltaic capability.

However, as the West economies address the climate emergency, another disaster is deteriorating elsewhere. Building all those cars, panels and turbines calls for resources like copper, cobalt and lithium, which just like fossils are mined from the ground. However, unlike relics, most raw materials from renewable energy come excessively from developing nations. 

In the past years, cobalt extracting in the Democratic Republic of Congo has dropped into the community consciousness, starting with Amnesty International report of 2016 that unveiled child labour at the nation’s nonindustrial mining sites, which supply cobalt that makes smartphones and other gadgets all over the world. 

The abuses of human rights and environmental poverty in places such as Congo do not augur well for the West’s conversion to sustainable power, which will extend the green power materials demand. Some sceptics even quote such unpleasant effects of recyclable energy production to disagree against any conversion to green power. Like in the latest, widely condemned Michael Moore-produced Planet of the Humans documentary that also promotes the falsehood that developing recyclable technology devours as many fossils as burning them.

Scientific researches end that even the materials production required making wind and solar technology results in far few emissions compared to oil or coal. Benjamin Sovacool, who is the energy policy professor at the University of Sussex, stated that fossils are downright worse at harming the environment, and even community compared to renewables. Benjamin’s research also approximates that minerals are way too expensive and harmful environment-wise compared to recyclables in the long run.

The question of how to source minerals and metals ethically still lingers to be a genuine and an urgent one. Researchers, policymakers and leaders of the mining industry are currently debating on how to guarantee the migration to green power does not worsen social and environmental problems in a different place. One of the suggestions is to enhance the tracking of mining deliver chains.