His thoughts — The webs we weave

Published 12:00 pm Friday, December 9, 2022

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would connect the dots between President Biden, Hunter Biden, John Kerry, Al Gore, and China. All appear to be focused on solar power and electric cars for a reason. There is a time and place for some use of electric vehicles. As advancements have been and are being made, they may be the answer for the future, but we are not at that point in innovation.

THE CURRENT STATUS

We have a president of the United States making an all-out press for electric vehicles, while at the same time trying to force more of our country’s electrical needs to be addressed by solar power. Interestingly, most of the elements needed for the solar panels and batteries are controlled by the Chinese government. He does this in the name of protecting the environment, but the question is how?

Our country has made significant changes since the 1950s. Gone are the smokestacks that spewed clouds of pollutants. Scrubbers have been the law of the land for some time now capturing most elements. While at the same time, we are buying the fuel we need from other parts of the world that have ignored any serious concerns about harming their environment. Remember that we are one planet, what happens elsewhere will in time affect us.

Consider exactly what the Chinese are doing in Indonesia and other third world countries. Their environment and their resident’s well-being are being sacrificed so that some can claim they are saving the planet.

A massive Indonesia industrial complex is managed by a Chinese-Indonesian joint venture. Operations have led to polluted waters. Water temperature has increased as a result of exhaust from the cooling system destroying the traditional fishing industry

Indonesia and Australia are home to the largest nickel reserves. For decades, the country enjoyed a nickel export industry. But Indonesia has stopped exporting raw nickel materials. Instead, it has its sights set on a newer industry, batteries.

Indonesia aims to secure its position in the global chain of battery production with help from a powerful partner, China. Chinese companies have partnered with Indonesian companies to export refined nickel products, which are a crucial component of many batteries.

What is happening in Indonesia is part of a global pattern where batteries and other rare earth materials are abundant. According to a report from ‘The Rest of the World’, “Residents in Chile, Argentina, Congo, etc. complain of environmental destruction, and dangerous or exploitative working conditions.” It is crucial to look at the material footprint of the solar and electric vehicle industry against the promised decrease in carbon emissions.

In the southern hemisphere, home of many raw materials for batteries, the rising demand for electric vehicles is threatening to worsen existing injustices in the extractive industry. Most poorer countries simply do not have the environmental regulations that American and European countries have. The regulations they do have are often ignored. Likewise, advanced countries pride themselves on worker safety standards and child labor regulations. These type things are not an issue in third world countries.

These places withstand the worst of the immediate environmental fallout, yet most benefits from the extraction and manufacturing are dominated by Chinese businesses.

Therefore, the questions arise. Why are some in our government so focused on something that sounds good while it is doing so much damage? Why are some in our government so focused on industries that enrich the Chinese Communist Party which is our greatest rival in the world?

Frank Ruff Jr. represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.