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Less of What We Don't Need
Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.
A Dark Earth Day
Could we discuss silicon, that substance on which our digital world depends?  Silicon is a semiconductor, and tiny electronic switches called transistors are made from it. Like brain cells, transistors control the flow of information in a computer’s integrated circuits. Transistors store memory, amplify sound, transmit and receive data, run apps and much, much more.
A 2019 study by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney found that demand for lithium could exceed supply by next year, which would drive up prices and interest in more lithium mining. Demand for cobalt and nickel, also key battery components, will exceed production in less than a decade.
“Cobalt is the metal of most concern for supply risks as it has highly concentrated production and reserves, and batteries for EVs are expected to be the main end-use of cobalt in only a few years,” the report’s authors found.
But there’s also concern that we still don’t adequately understand the risks of operating giant underwater tractors along the seafloor.
Mann singles out Kevin Anderson, a British-based climate scientist, who gave up flying about fifteen years ago, as having been taken in by the deflectors. In actual fact, Anderson maintains that individual actions may serve as the catalyst for deeper systemic changes which would contribute to climate change mitigation. Is Mann himself, as a privileged academic and a former advisor to the Clinton campaign on energy and climate in 2016, perhaps deflecting attention from the greater contribution that elites of various sorts make to emissions?
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In the closing words of his book, Mann seeks to address the assertion of those he terms “progressives” that current climate policies don’t sufficiently address social injustices, arguing that “simply acting on the climate crisis is acting to alleviate social injustice” (p. 266). Unfortunately, he appears to be hostile to climate justice activists who in calling for “system change, not climate change” are also calling for transcending capitalism, not merely tweaking it to make it slightly more social just and environmentally sustainable.