Black Lives Matter? Leftists’ Green Dreams Fueled With African Kids’ Blood, Sweat and Tears
If you thought Nike’s benefiting from Far East sweatshop labor was bad, wait till you learn about what’s helping to create those oh-so politically correct and not-so-green electric cars.
The Biden administration and fellow lefties far and wide love electric vehicles. You can zip around in them feeling intensely woke and value-signal your green bona fides. In fact, Biden (or his handlers) has said that he wants all federal government vehicles on the juice, and a White House initiative aims to get Americans into electric cars en masse. To this end (allegedly), Biden’s “$2-trillion ‘infrastructure’ plan calls for giving taxpayer-funded rebates to electric car buyers and to increase the number of charging stations,” relates commentator Andrea Widburg.
Now, though you won’t hear it from mainstream media, it has long appeared that the electric-car movement is a scam. In 2013, I reported on former electric-auto engineer Ozzie Zehner, who once was a plug-in advocate but now says “I was wrong.” His point is that contrary to the hype, electric vehicles pollute more than their gasoline counterparts.
Zehner also mentions, among other things, that electric-car batteries contain elements whose extraction from the earth imperils workers and surrounding communities. This brings us to the current story, which involves the claim that one of these elements, cobalt, comes from African slave labor.
As the DeseretNews reported Sunday:
“Our children are dying like dogs.”
That is the sorrowful statement of one Congolese mother whose son and cousin died while working the cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
She and other parents like her are part of a class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. federal court in Washington, D.C., in 2019 seeking to hold Apple, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Dell Technologies, Microsoft and Tesla accountable for what they allege is profiting off the misery of child labor in their quest for cobalt.
“Cobalt is a key component of every rechargeable lithium-ion battery in all of the gadgets made by defendants and all other tech and electric car companies in the world that has brought on the latest wave of cruel exploitation fueled by greed, corruption and indifference to a population of powerless, starving Congolese people,” the suit reads [related video below].
In fact, “The charge is that cobalt workers are slaves,” contends columnist Don Surber.
He continues, quoting the DeseretNews, “‘The companies have argued the case should be dismissed, asserting they have no control over the mining practices in a foreign country and that the families lack standing to bring the suit on U.S. soil. Furthermore, they stressed they have no direct connection to mining on foreign soil.’”
“I am no lawyer but it does seem standing is a problem,” Surber then adds.
“But just because something is legal that does not make it right.”
And note, the DeseretNews quotes the lawsuit as stating, “There is no question that defendants have specific knowledge that the cobalt mined in DRC they use in their various products includes cobalt that was produced by children working under extremely hazardous conditions, that serious mining accidents are common due to the primitive conditions and complete lack of safety precautions in the mines, and that hundreds, if not thousands, of children have been maimed or killed to produce the cobalt needed for the world’s modern tech gadgets produced by defendants and other companies.”
“Black lives matter.” “Do it for the children.” Uh-huh. How many stale left-wing refrains come to mind here?
Surber points out that this isn’t news, either. Reuters reported on the green car-African slavery connection in 2017. The same year, Australia’s Sky News conducted an investigation into the Congolese cobalt business’s exploitation of children (video below).
If anyone still thinks that noble motives figure prominently in the electric-vehicle-movement’s vanguard, consider that Biden’s “plan to have taxpayers subsidize electric cars is [actually] a money transfer to his wealthier constituents,” the aforementioned Widburg notes.
“The subsidies won’t bring down the price of the cars because there are no market forces at work,” she explains. “Instead, they will do what previous electric car subsidies will have done: make electric cars a little more affordable for rich people. This means that those people who earn very little but still make enough to pay taxes cannot afford electric cars for themselves but will help subsidize affluent people’s virtue-signaling car-buying practices.”
Widburg also mentions that electric vehicles take ages to charge, often adding many hours to a trip; she further asserts that their batteries don’t hold their charges well in cold weather. Moreover, according to a January Real Clear Energy article, electric vehicles “fast charge” is more expensive than gasoline.
Then there’s this: How could our electric grid supply hundreds of millions of vehicles with power? California already experiences rolling blackouts during the summer due lacking electricity production capacity.
The kicker is that, again, if Zehner and others are correct, the only green aspect of plug-in cars is the money they make for their advocates. And now we hear that they not only may be deadly to the planet, but also to African children.
So the greenies are value-signaling while riding on the backs of black kids. That’s quite a look.
Published at Thu, 27 May 2021 23:10:00 +0000
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