More On: Green Energy
The obsession of green groups with EVs keeps going the wrong that they say they want to stop.
As is the case with most things that are pushed for in the name of social progress, the left's strong push for EV technology ignores the lives of the people who will be most affected by it.
During a photo op in a shiny electric Hummer, Biden said, "On my watch, the Great American Road Trip will be fully electric. You can save up to $7,500 on a new electric vehicle." I bet that tax credit will come in handy when gas-powered cars are outlawed and the normal American has to buy a $60,000 EV.
Leftists love to say that getting rid of anything that isn't electric is a matter of life and death. Biden is currently aiming for an emissions rule that could make it very hard for blue-collar workers to get gas-powered cars. The government says that its control of the market is fair because it's the right thing to do.
Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said, "President Biden's historic clean energy laws are making it possible for us to get more EVs on the road by expanding charging infrastructure into underserved communities, while reducing range and cost anxiety among drivers who want to go electric."
I'm sure Granholm went to these neglected areas to find out what makes the people there feel "cost anxiety." I don't think EVs are on their minds at all, for whatever reason.
Pete Buttigieg, the Secretary of Transportation, said he would use $1 billion from the laughably bipartisan infrastructure bill to "take apart the racism that was built into the roads." Mr. Pete is one of the leaders who liked how much gas prices went up because they thought it would make more people want to buy electric cars. Since then, he's been working hard to integrate the roads and get rid of potholes that hurt everyone.
The Road To Hell is Paved With ‘Good Intentions’
What these activists who don't get out much don't understand is that their green absolutism makes inequality worse. Do they know what is being done to give them all the batteries they need?
Slavery and making kids work.
No, I'm not going too far. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), so-called "artisanal" miners work in very dangerous conditions to mine cobalt and nickel, which are important parts of the batteries used in electric cars like Teslas, Fords, and VWs. Men, women, and children scrounge for food in unbearable heat and die when mine shafts fall while the militias who "recruited" them from villages all over the country don't care. At most, these slaves are paid one or two dollars a day for their hard job.
This is the reality of the mines that produce cobalt for your electric cars ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/AnT6jSP547— FEE (Foundation for Economic Education) (@feeonline) May 25, 2023
Siddharth Kara, a fellow at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, looked into these mining activities and said, "Cobalt is toxic to touch and breathe, and hundreds of thousands of poor Congolese people touch and breathe it... All of the young moms with babies on their backs were breathing in this dangerous cobalt dust. There is no way to tell the difference between cobalt dug by an industrial digger and cobalt dug by women and children with their bare hands.
There are about 40,000 children working in these dangerous mines. Some of them are as young as six.
What a waste of "clean energy."
Even scarier is the fact that these operations can't be found in official reports because of local corruption and gray-market business practices. This makes it hard to know how many people are forced to work in these dangerous conditions.
Now, even though these businesses are illegal, they are common all over the country and get a lot of money from outside sources. It is thought that Chinese business firms backed by the Chinese government own about 70% of the mining operations in the Congo. So, not only do we have questionable business practices and unsafe work conditions in areas with a lot of poverty, but we also have a multibillion-dollar industry that directly helps a government that is known for killing people.
That doesn't seem fair to me.
See No Evil, Hear No Evil…
Even when faced with these obvious violations of human rights, the west has been very quiet about the issue. You don't see any famous leaders protesting the making of batteries like these, do you? At the end of this violent supply chain, Congolese people of all ages are forced to dig toxic cobalt veins. Some of them die or get hurt very badly while doing this. At the end of the day, it's these people who help make EVs in the west.
We get nothing but silence from the old media and leaders. How can they say that putting all transportation in America on electric vehicles (EVs) will make our racist country more fair when their own policies directly help modern-day slave outfits in Africa?
Those at the bottom of the economic ladder have to pay for their 'educated' whims. Why should it matter to the rich? All of this institutional abuse is happening in a country far away, where no one can see or think about it. It doesn't matter because it's there. This kind of "progress" is what lawmakers want, no matter how many Ford electric cars they sell.
Henry Hazlitt said, "The bad economist only sees what's right in front of him; the good economist also looks further." The bad economist only looks at the short-term effects of a plan. The good economist also looks at the long-term and secondary effects. The bad economist only looks at how a policy has affected or will affect one group. The good economist also looks at how the policy will affect all groups.
That's what's going on. Lawmakers and business leaders don't think about how their actions will affect people in the real world. They are pushing for "equitable" standards as a PR stunt to get better ESG scores, but they are ignoring the real life-or-death effects of "green" laws.