Many points are made when discussing the green energy agenda’s infeasibility. It has been noted that wind and solar can’t provide our energy needs, that powering the United States with wind would require an area three times California’s size. It has further been asserted that electric-car production and use actually cause more pollution than the gasoline status quo. It’s not just that electric vehicles’ manufacture creates massive releases of CO2 (not a pollutant, mind you), either; it’s also that the mining of the metals and minerals required for their production causes environmental damage. Yet there’s a kicker here, too, a point seldom made:
Even if we could more cleanly and efficiently mine the materials in question, there simply aren’t enough of them to make green energy a reality.
That’s the conclusion of a geological study that, not surprisingly, hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. CounterPunch has reported on it, however, writing that the research
puts a damper on the prospects of phasing out fossil fuels in favor of renewables. More to the point, a phase out of fossil fuels by mid century looks to be a nearly impossible Sisyphean task. It’s all about quantities of minerals/metals contained in Mother Earth. There aren’t enough.
Simon Michaux, PhD, Geological Survey Finland[,] has done a detailed study of what’s required to phase out fossil fuels in favor of renewables, to wit:
“The quantity of metal required to make just one generation of renewable tech units to replace fossil fuels is much larger than first thought. Current mining production of these metals is not even close to meeting demand. Current reported mineral reserves are also not enough in size. Most concerning is copper as one of the flagged shortfalls. Exploration for more at required volumes will be difficult, with this seminar addressing these issues.” (Source: Simon P. Michaux, Associate Research Professor of Geometallurgy Unit Minerals Processing and Materials Research, Geological Survey of Finland, August 18, 2022 — Seminar: What Would It Take To Replace The Existing Fossil Fuel System?)
Michaux’s “comprehensive study found that the current estimated metal reserves are woefully deficient in almost every category,” American Thinker’s Robert A. Bishop added on Saturday. “The table below lists base and rare earth metals requirements to build the new grid and E.V.s. Deficits are yellow-highlighted. For example, copper is an integral part of a high-voltage grid system, coming up short by a shocking 3.7 billion tons. Can we dig enough open mile-deep ore pits to meet that shortfall? Improbable.”