Book Review: The Horrific Costs and Willful Ignorance of Net Zero

What I have learned from the book Cobalt Red: How the Blood of the Congo Powers Our Lives by Siddharth Kara about the situation regarding the mining of cobalt and other minerals in the Congo has haunted me. 

I am typing this on my rechargeable laptop, and the only solace I can find is that it is considered ancient in today’s world; I bought it in 2015. At least I can say that I don’t frequently upgrade my electronics and, as a result, am rarely in the market for the rechargeable batteries that demand cobalt.

Kara wrote Cobalt Red to bring attention to the plight of the Congolese as well as to disprove the claims made by companies like Apple and Tesla that the minerals they use in their products are all “clean,” meaning not the product of artisanal miners. In fact, one of Kara’s hopes is that the executives at these companies take trips to the Congo to see for themselves just where exactly their minerals are coming from.

I am certainly not naive. I am 60 years old and have repeatedly seen the corruption and the lying that takes place both in powerful corporations and at all levels of government. I am aware that people are ruthlessly exploited and that the United States is more than willing to kill innocent civilians around the world for resources, ideology, and abject power.

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