As with most things espoused in the name of social progress, the left’s aggressive push for EV technology conveniently forgets the lives of those affected by it the most.
“On my watch, the great American road trip is going to be fully electrified…you can get up to $7,500 on a new electric vehicle,” Biden exclaimed during a photo-op in a shiny electric Hummer. I bet that tax credit will come in handy when the average American is forced to buy a $60,000 EV after gas-powered cars are banned outright.
Leftists love to harp on the life-or-death need to eliminate anything non-electric. Biden is currently setting his sights on an emissions mandate that could severely limit the accessibility of gas-powered cars to blue-collar citizens. The administration is justifying its control of the market by stating that it’s the equitable thing to do.
Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm announced:
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 herself traveled to these underserved communities to see what gives those people “cost anxiety.” For some reason, I don’t think that EVs are anywhere remotely on their minds.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg affirmed that he would be using $1 billion dollars from the laughably bipartisan infrastructure bill to, “deconstruct the racism that was built into the roadways.” Mr. Pete is one of the elites who celebrated the immense spikes in gasoline prices as that somehow meant that more people would be inclined to buy EVs. Since then, he’s been hard at work to desegregate the highways and combat systemically oppressive potholes.
The Road To Hell is Paved With “Good Intentions”
What these short-sighted armchair activists fail to realize is that their green absolutism actually promotes inequality. Do they know what is being done to satiate their need for all these electric batteries?
Slavery and child labor.
No, I’m not being hyperbolic. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), so-called “artisanal” miners work in extremely dangerous conditions to mine cobalt and nickel-elements crucial in the production of batteries seen in electric cars like Teslas, Fords, and VWs. Men, women, and children scrounge about in debilitating heat and die in mine shaft collapses while the militias who “recruited” them from villages across the country look on in indifference. At best, these indentured servants are paid a dollar or two a day for their grueling work.
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 studied these mining operations and noted:
Cobalt is toxic to touch and breathe-and there are hundreds of thousands of poor Congolese people touching and breathing it… Young mothers with babies strapped to their backs, all breathing in this toxic cobalt dust. There’s complete cross-contamination between industrial excavator-derived cobalt and cobalt dug by women and children with their bare hands.
There are an estimated 40,000 children working in these toxic mines, with many of them being as young as six.
So much for “clean energy.”
What’s even more terrifying is that as these operations are unaccounted for in official audits thanks to local corruption and gray-market business tactics, there’s no telling exactly how many people are working in these dangerous conditions under the threat of force.
Now despite being illegal, these operations are widespread throughout the country—and are well funded by outside interests. It is estimated that around 70 percent of Congolese mining operations are owned by Chinese government-backed investment firms. So we now not only have the issue of questionable business practices and unsafe work environments in poverty-stricken regions, but also a multi-billion dollar industry which directly benefits an authoritarian government well known for its genocidal practices.
That doesn’t sound equitable.
See No Evil, Hear No Evil…
Even when faced with these glaring human rights abuses, the west has been peculiarly mute on the subject. You certainly don’t see any big-name politicians protesting the manufacture of such covetable batteries, do you? At the bottom of this violent supply chain, you have Congolese of all ages dying or becoming seriously injured while being forced to mine toxic cobalt veins. At the end of the day, these are the people who are supporting the west’s EV production.
From the legacy media and politicians we receive only silence. How can they say that America switching to completely EV-based transportation will bring equity to our racist country, when their own policies directly support modern-day African slavery outfits?
Those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder have to pay for their ‘enlightened’ whims. Why should the elites care? All this systemic abuse is being committed in some far away land-out of sight, out of mind. It’s not an issue because it’s over there. This is the sort of “progress” politicians are rooting for, regardless of how many Ford electrics they sell.
As Henry Hazlitt pointed out: “The bad economist sees only what immediately strikes the eye; the good economist also looks beyond. The bad economist sees only the direct consequences of a proposed course; the good economist looks also at the longer and indirect consequences. The bad economist sees only what the effect of a given policy has been or will be on one particular group; the good economist inquires also what the effect of the policy will be on all groups.”
That is the issue. Lawmakers and business moguls don’t care about the real-world ramifications of their actions. While they push “equitable” standards in a P.R stunt to get better ESG scores, they are completely neglecting the actual life-or-death effects of “green” legislation.
Image Credit: Artisanal mining in the Congo | Fairphone-Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0
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