The evolving landscape of lithium batteries is creating both contradictions and infrastructure hurdles that, according to some, need to be addressed sooner rather than later. A critical component of this is waste management.
More than 6 million electric vehicle (EV) battery packs will end up as scrap between now and 2030, and the recycling and reuse industries are racing to keep up. Some researchers project that recycling alone will be an over $12 billion industry by 2025.
U.S. President Joe Biden wants to make America a key player in the EV battery industry with a $3.1 billion spending package for automobile production to transition away from fossil fuels.
Much of this dream is pinned on a dusty stretch of soil in the Nevada high desert called Thacker Pass. It serves as the lynchpin in Biden’s push for increased domestic lithium production and more EV batteries. That’s because Thacker Pass is the largest hard rock lithium reserve in the United States.
Currently, China dominates the world’s EV battery production, with more than 80 percent of all units developed there.
Yet while Biden’s administration has its sights on the top spot for EV battery production, insiders are pointing out industry trapdoors.
A Dutch non-profit group called The Ocean Cleanup released a report on September 1 that found the bulk of the plastic debris in the so-called North Pacific Garbage Patch consists of discarded fishing equipment from Japan and China.
The garbage patch is often depicted in Western media and popular culture as refuse created by heavy industry or thrown into the ocean by careless Americans and Europeans. Much of the trash heap supposedly consists of minuscule debris known as microplastics.
The North Pacific Garbage Patch (NPGP), first discovered in 1997, was created by intersecting ocean currents between the West Coast of the United States and the Hawaiian Islands. Researchers later found small debris moving through a “subtropical convergence zone” to another garbage patch on the far side of the Pacific, east of Japan. The NPGP is estimated to cover several million square kilometers, weighing in at tens of thousands of tons.
According to research by The Ocean Cleanup published in Scientific Reports, up to 86 percent of the debris in the North Pacific Garbage Patch actually consists of “items that were abandoned, lost, or discarded by fishing vessels.”
The Ocean Cleanup began its revolutionary study in 2019, a year after a surprising survey that found almost half of the debris in the garbage patch was from discarded fishing nets. The study that began in 2019 harvested over 6,000 plastic objects from the ocean by dragging huge U-shaped nets behind research vessels. To the surprise of the researchers, the bulk of the identifiable debris they collected was “fishing and aquaculture gear,” including equipment used to harvest fish, oysters, and eel.
Will leftist elites ever practice the sacrifices they dream to force upon the masses? Biden climate czar John Kerry sure does not seem to think so — the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate owns a private jet that emitted over 300 metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to federal data.
Kerry’s jet, a Gulfstream GIV-SP, has made 48 trips that last more than 60 hours. Escapades made possible by the plane emitted an estimated 715,886 pounds, or 325 metric tons, of carbon since Joe Biden began occupying the White House, according to Fox News. The plane belongs to Flying Squirrel LLC., a charter company in which Kerry owns a financial stake of at least $1 million.
This is not Kerry’s first time breaking rules that he wishes to impose upon others. A previous report at BLP showed the climate envoy flaunting a mask mandate during a commercial flight as other Americans were being thrown off flights and threatened with federal prison for doing the same things.
Oh, the irony…California’s massive push for adaptation of solar over the last several decades in order to ascertain more “clean” energy is now becoming a problem for landfills.
After 1.3 million solar installs later, the first push of panels are reaching the end of their “typical 25-to-30-year life cycle”, according to Yahoo.
And now for the coda to the “clean energy” story: many of the panels are “winding up in landfills, where in some cases, they could potentially contaminate groundwater with toxic heavy metals such as lead, selenium and cadmium” the report says.
One expert told yahoo that only 1 in 10 panels are actually recycled – the rest are contributing to “truckloads of waste”, some of which is contaminated, according to the report.
Sam Vanderhoof, a solar industry expert and chief executive of Recycle PV Solar told Yahoo: “The industry is supposed to be green. But in reality, it’s all about the money.”
California has been pushing for solar since 2006, when the state approved $3.3 billion in subsidies. Now, about 15% of the state’s power comes from solar – but that belies the environmental disaster disposing of the panels has become.