ABC: Miners Ripping up the Wilderness to Feed the Green Energy Revolution

  • 2022
  • May
  • 9
  • ABC: Miners Ripping up the Wilderness to Feed the Green Energy Revolution

Yellow-orange toxic waste in water on the mountain, close to abandoned mines in Colorado, USA.


ABC: Miners Ripping up the Wilderness to Feed the Green Energy Revolution

15 hours ago

Eric Worrall


Essay by Eric Worrall

“Everything is now an emergency” – How can governments which declare climate emergencies refuse applications to extract Lithium and other vital minerals from sensitive wilderness areas?

The rush to renewable energy means a new mining boom. But first, Australia needs to make some tough choices 

Four Corners / By Angus Grigg, Jeanavive McGregor and Lucy Carter

Electric cars, solar panels, large batteries and wind turbines — the technology needed to go green relies on what can be a dirty industry.

“It’s absolutely ironic, but to save the planet we are going to need more mines,” says Allison Britt, director of mineral resources at government agency Geoscience Australia.

The need for one of the biggest increases in mining the world has ever seen is forcing some tough choices and redrawing old battlelines between environmentalists and miners.

In Tasmania, a mine that’s been leaking contaminated water for the past five years wants permission to expand into a wilderness area because the lead, zinc and copper it produces are vital for solar panels, electric cars and wind turbines.

King Island, famed for its high-end produce and rugged beauty, will soon be home to one of the world’s largest tungsten mines.

Outside Darwin, an open-cut mine that will produce lithium vital for electric car batteries looks to be already impacting local waterways.

“Everything is now an emergency,” says entrepreneur and inventor Saul Griffith, whose advocacy organisation Re-wiring America has advised US politicians and businesses.

“We need to be making wind turbines 10 times as fast as we do. We need to be making solar cells 10 times as fast as we do. We need to be making batteries and electric vehicles 10 times as fast as we do today.”

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The main beneficiaries of this free for all are mining entrepreneurs, who are rushing to ram through their mine expansion plans and environmental permits with minimal oversight, under the guise of addressing the alleged climate emergency.

Once die hard Environmentalists are now supporting or at least passively accepting new mines and the wholesale destruction of pristine wilderness, to maintain the flow of minerals required to supply their green energy delusions.

How did we get to this point?

In my opinion, it was wind turbines which opened the floodgates. When everyone saw environmentalists passively accepting wind turbines slaughtering thousands of endangered birds, it was obvious that the key to getting environmentalists to roll over for wilderness destruction was their belief in a climate crisis. Now every imaginable act of environmental destruction for profit is being tagged as a vital stepping stone on the path to net zero.

A few net zero supporters have woken up that something is not right, and are demanding a pause, but the majority have yet to notice they have all been owned by the mining industry.

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