Ion The Prize

Moving to our electric car future will change a lot. What it won’t change is the international competition to extract underground resources, even as we move from black gold to the lightest metal. “Much of the world’s lithium comes from South America and Australia, and China dominates the worldwide supply chain for lithium-ion batteries … Lithium was discovered by Swedish chemist Johan August Arfwedson more than 200 years ago. Since then, lithium and its compounds have been used in everything from psychiatric medicine to lubricating grease. But interest in lithium has exploded in recent years because of its use in rechargeable batteries for electric and hybrid cars, lawnmowers, power tools and more.” (Long story short, we might save the Earth but run out of lube.) While oil and natural gas extraction pits the environment vs our demand for fuel, the Lithium debate pits the environment today vs the environment tomorrow. AP: US seeks new lithium sources as demand for batteries grows.

+ Climate groups say a change in coding can reduce bitcoin energy consumption by 99%. “Bitcoin mining already uses as much energy as Sweden, according to some reports, and its booming popularity is revitalizing failing fossil fuel enterprises in the US. But all that could change with a simple switch in the way it is coded.” (Alternatively, we could just get rid of Sweden…)

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