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Child miners aged four living a hell on Earth so YOU can drive an electric car Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 07:30 AM

Child miners aged four living a hell on Earth so YOU can drive an electric car
Awful human cost in squalid Congo cobalt mine that Michael Gove didn't consider in his 'clean' energy crusade
By BARBARA JONES FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
PUBLISHED: 17:01 EDT, 5 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:37 EDT, 6 August 2017
Daily Mail

<More Feel Good lefty Dreams Here>

Picking through a mountain of huge rocks with his tiny bare hands, the exhausted little boy makes a pitiful sight.

His name is Dorsen and he is one of an army of children, some just four years old, working in the vast polluted mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where toxic red dust burns their eyes, and they run the risk of skin disease and a deadly lung condition. Here, for a wage of just 8p a day, the children are made to check the rocks for the tell-tale chocolate-brown streaks of cobalt – the prized ingredient essential for the batteries that power electric cars.

And it's feared that thousands more children could be about to be dragged into this hellish daily existence – after the historic pledge made by Britain to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2040 and switch to electric vehicles.

It heralds a future of clean energy, free from pollution but – though there can be no doubting the good intentions behind Environment Secretary Michael Gove's announcement last month – such ideals mean nothing for the children condemned to a life of hellish misery in the race to achieve his target.

Dorsen, just eight, is one of 40,000 children working daily in the mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The terrible price they will pay for our clean air is ruined health and a likely early death.

Almost every big motor manufacturer striving to produce millions of electric vehicles buys its cobalt from the impoverished central African state. It is the world's biggest producer, with 60 per cent of the planet's reserves.

The cobalt is mined by unregulated labour and transported to Asia where battery manufacturers use it to make their products lighter, longer-lasting and rechargeable.

The planned switch to clean energy vehicles has led to an extraordinary surge in demand. While a smartphone battery uses no more than 10 grams of refined cobalt, an electric car needs 15kg (33lb).

Goldman Sachs, the merchant bank, calls cobalt 'the new gasoline' but there are no signs of new wealth in the DRC, where the children haul the rocks brought up from tunnels dug by hand.

Adult miners dig up to 600ft below the surface using basic tools, without protective clothing or modern machinery. Sometimes the children are sent down into the narrow makeshift chambers where there is constant danger of collapse.

Cobalt is such a health hazard that it has a respiratory disease named after it – cobalt lung, a form of pneumonia which causes coughing and leads to permanent incapacity and even death.

Even simply eating vegetables grown in local soil can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, thyroid damage and fatal lung diseases, while birds and fish cannot survive in the area.

No one knows quite how many children have died mining cobalt in the Katanga region in the south-east of the country. The UN estimates 80 a year, but many more deaths go unregistered, with the bodies buried in the rubble of collapsed tunnels. Others survive but with chronic diseases which destroy their young lives. Girls as young as ten in the mines are subjected to sexual attacks and many become pregnant.

<More Feel Good lefty Dreams Here>
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#2 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 09:45 AM

It's sickening. But the "planet savers" won't care. Hell, they're just kids, right? It's perfectly legal to kill kids right here in America so why should they care about kids in the Congo?

:censored:
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#3 User is offline   LeansToTheRight 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 09:57 AM

View PostMontyPython, on 12 April 2019 - 09:45 AM, said:

It's sickening. But the "planet savers" won't care. Hell, they're just kids, right? It's perfectly legal to kill kids right here in America so why should they care about kids in the Congo?

:censored:


EGGS-ACTLY


If the cobalt mining industry in the DRC were regulated to the point it was no longer legal for child labor, the adult workers got paid “a decent family wage”, and there was adequate skin and respiratory protection, the cost of the electric car would sky-rocket to the point that it would no longer make sense to manufacture them en masse.
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#4 User is offline   Wag-a-Muffin (D) 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 10:03 AM

A while back I posted an article about a young African man who just escaped being a slave. This was a current story. But it seems that the only "slaves" that matter are those from 200 years ago. Today's slaves are ignored.
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#5 User is offline   Ladybird 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 10:11 AM

And Laptops and smartphones and every electronic gadget the western worlds’ consumers have a demand for.
https://www.theguard...obalt-mines-drc
While you’re demonizing those who want electric cars, take a look in the mirror.
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#6 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 10:22 AM

View PostLadybird, on 12 April 2019 - 10:11 AM, said:

And Laptops and smartphones and every electronic gadget the western worlds’ consumers have a demand for.
https://www.theguard...obalt-mines-drc
While you’re demonizing those who want electric cars, take a look in the mirror.


Just curious - Did you catch this part?

"While a smartphone battery uses no more than 10 grams of refined cobalt, an electric car needs 15kg (33lb)."

Slight difference. And in any case I personally have neither a laptop nor a smartphone anyway, so I believe my own demonizing is legit.

B)
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#7 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 10:30 AM

View PostMontyPython, on 12 April 2019 - 10:22 AM, said:

Just curious - Did you catch this part?

"While a smartphone battery uses no more than 10 grams of refined cobalt, an electric car needs 15kg (33lb)."

Slight difference. And in any case I personally have neither a laptop nor a smartphone anyway, so I believe my own demonizing is legit.

B)


Doesn't matter. She got her 'whatabout' stated...
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#8 User is offline   stick 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 10:40 AM

View PostLadybird, on 12 April 2019 - 10:11 AM, said:

And Laptops and smartphones and every electronic gadget the western worlds’ consumers have a demand for.
https://www.theguard...obalt-mines-drc
While you’re demonizing those who want electric cars, take a look in the mirror.


Someone feeling a bit guilty over their progressivism allasudden? What's in your mirror, hun?

I don't think cars and long journey vehicles should get priority for electrification power here in America. There are so many more practical uses for that power and it doesn't make sense to replace spark-ignited power solutions where they make sense. I am immersed and fairly knowledgeable about the many power solutions available today and really NONE of them should be "banned" or whatever plan you nanny-staters think is "best" for us. Most of you have no idea what you're talking about or asking for but we all have to suffer these fools...
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#9 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 10:44 AM

Easy, only buy "fair trade" cobalt! Problem solved.
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#10 User is offline   Ladybird 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 10:47 AM

View PostMontyPython, on 12 April 2019 - 10:22 AM, said:

Just curious - Did you catch this part?

"While a smartphone battery uses no more than 10 grams of refined cobalt, an electric car needs 15kg (33lb)."

Slight difference. And in any case I personally have neither a laptop nor a smartphone anyway, so I believe my own demonizing is legit.

B)


I don’t have an electric car.

Point is the demand for this mineral is not just coming from selfish leftists who want drive non emission producing cars, like the OP is implying. The issue is child exploitation in the Congo and the companies profitting off the backs of the impoverished workers (as well as China), which has been reported by groups like Amnesty International.
https://www.amnesty....-supply-chains/

This post has been edited by Ladybird: 12 April 2019 - 11:00 AM

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#11 User is offline   Coach 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 12:28 PM

The race to renewable energy is the biggest threat to the earth since the last ice age.
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#12 User is offline   kestrel 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 01:00 PM

View PostLadybird, on 12 April 2019 - 10:47 AM, said:

I don’t have an electric car.

Point is the demand for this mineral is not just coming from selfish leftists who want drive non emission producing cars, like the OP is implying. The issue is child exploitation in the Congo and the companies profitting off the backs of the impoverished workers (as well as China), which has been reported by groups like Amnesty International.
https://www.amnesty....-supply-chains/


Excuse me Ms..but it looks like your Virtue Signal has a burned out bulb...

Kestrel...
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#13 User is offline   Noclevermoniker 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 01:43 PM

More proof that leftists have no ability to foresee second- and third-order effects of their "smartest policies in the world".

Black 4 yr-old miners matter not-so-much.

"But, but....whatabout....."

Spare me.
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#14 User is offline   Squirrel 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 01:51 PM

This doesn’t even address the long term cost in disposal of batteries or the fact most electricity is still made by things that polute
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#15 User is offline   Bubbajoebob 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 02:37 PM

View PostMontyPython, on 12 April 2019 - 10:22 AM, said:

Just curious - Did you catch this part?

"While a smartphone battery uses no more than 10 grams of refined cobalt, an electric car needs 15kg (33lb)."

Slight difference. And in any case I personally have neither a laptop nor a smartphone anyway, so I believe my own demonizing is legit.

B)


There's still a good argument that computers and phones are part of the problem. Based on the numbers above yes, it takes 1500 smartphones to equal the cobalt used by one electric car, but there are lots of people with phones in the US (and the world) and not that many who have electric cars, probably more than a 1500:1 ratio so that phones are more of a problem than cars.

It bothers me that some of my phone may have been produced by child slave labor. I'd happily pay an extra $5 or $50 so the few grams of such materials came from a better source, and hope that most people would do so, so the incentive for child laborers would be reduced. It shouldn't even require a law. Just enough people telling manufacturers "I don't want my battery to be part of the reason a 5 year old child has a miserable, violent life that ends with death suffocating in a mine collapse."
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#16 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 04:52 PM

View PostLadybird, on 12 April 2019 - 10:47 AM, said:

I don’t have an electric car.

Point is the demand for this mineral is not just coming from selfish leftists who want drive non emission producing cars, like the OP is implying. The issue is child exploitation in the Congo and the companies profitting off the backs of the impoverished workers (as well as China), which has been reported by groups like Amnesty International.
https://www.amnesty....-supply-chains/


Then I go back to what was my original point anyway: Lemme guess - You support a "woman's right to choose" (i.e. abortion), right?

If not then I was wrong. But I think you probably do, considering your other issues and positions and politics. And if so, if you do support a "woman's right to choose" (abortion), then any expression of "concern" for the welfare of children and/or "child exploitation" falls flat as a thin pancake. If you actually cared about children there's no way you could support a "woman's right to choose" abortion.


View PostBubbajoebob, on 12 April 2019 - 02:37 PM, said:

There's still a good argument that computers and phones are part of the problem. Based on the numbers above yes, it takes 1500 smartphones to equal the cobalt used by one electric car, but there are lots of people with phones in the US (and the world) and not that many who have electric cars, probably more than a 1500:1 ratio so that phones are more of a problem than cars.

It bothers me that some of my phone may have been produced by child slave labor. I'd happily pay an extra $5 or $50 so the few grams of such materials came from a better source, and hope that most people would do so, so the incentive for child laborers would be reduced. It shouldn't even require a law. Just enough people telling manufacturers "I don't want my battery to be part of the reason a 5 year old child has a miserable, violent life that ends with death suffocating in a mine collapse."


See my response (above) to Ladybird.

B)
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#17 User is offline   SARGE 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 05:12 PM

View PostNoclevermoniker, on 12 April 2019 - 01:43 PM, said:

More proof that leftists have no ability to foresee second- and third-order effects of their "smartest policies in the world".

Black 4 yr-old miners matter not-so-much.

"But, but....whatabout....."

Spare me.


The 'Law of Unintended Consequences' does not apply to them in their world. Like so many in the Leftist/Progressive world, they don't feel constrained by laws which apply to he rest of us.

They are morally superior.
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#18 User is offline   Bookdoc 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 06:29 PM

View PostSARGE, on 12 April 2019 - 05:12 PM, said:

The 'Law of Unintended Consequences' does not apply to them in their world. Like so many in the Leftist/Progressive world, they don't feel constrained by laws which apply to he rest of us.

They are morally superior.

As P J Watson put it so eloquently "Some cultures are better than others" :2cents:
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#19 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 07:14 PM

No one should fool themselves that conditions or pollution at Chinese rare earth metal mines are much better. And the US has rare earth metals, but the usual suspects of enviro-nazis have worked to keep it in the ground, making us way too dependent on China. It's not just electric cars and cell phones, but an awful lot of military equipment relies on these metals too.

As an example one missile I worked on originally had pneumatic actuators on the fins. It's still in production, but now it uses electro-mechanical actuators, which use, you guessed it, rare earth magnets.
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