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The Rare Metals War: The Dark Side of Clean…
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The Rare Metals War: The Dark Side of Clean Energy and Digital… (edició 2020)

de Guillaume Pitron (Autor), Bianca Jacobsohn (Traductor)

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Títol:The Rare Metals War: The Dark Side of Clean Energy and Digital Technologies
Autors:Guillaume Pitron (Autor)
Altres autors:Bianca Jacobsohn (Traductor)
Informació:Scribe US (2020), Edition: Illustrated, 288 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Etiquetes:own, metals, business, technology, Rare Earths, mining, engineering

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The Rare Metals War: The Dark Side of Clean Energy and Digital Technologies de Guillaume Pitron

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Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
I found this a very interesting report on what it takes to keep my computer and cell phone going. Perhaps someday the human race will realize what a wonderful planet we have without destroying it in the process! I learned a great deal about how politics weaves it's way into the realm of mining and manufacturing those products that make our lives easier. ( )
  CatsandCherryPie | Dec 27, 2020 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Guillaume Pitron's The Rare Metals War (Melbourne ; London : Scribe Publications [c2020]) explores the impact of rare earth elements / metals on the economics of energy production and distribution, digital technology, and the geo-politics of climate change. In Pitron's words, "this book recounts the dark side of the story of the world that awaits us. It is an undercover tale of a technological odyssey that has promised so much, and a look behind the scenes of our lavish and ambitious quest that involves risks as formidable as those it sets out to resolve." (Introduction, p. 11) It was published first in French in 1918 by Les Liens qui Liberent with the title, La Guerre des Metaux Rares. ( )
  chuck_ralston | Nov 20, 2020 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Pitron very admirably sounds the alarm over the environmental, economic, and social pitfalls of our growing need for rare metals to fuel green technologies, but he does so in a disjointed and frustrating manner. In my opinion many books by journalists struggle to maintain a cohesive narrative, and this is one of them. The environmental disasters in China and emerging countries are already well-documented, and the "solutions" explored (open up mining in developed countries, mining asteroids, and waiting for newer technology to save us yet again) either create new problems or are the equivalent of sitting around doing nothing and hoping for the best.
I read this during the late-fall 2020 COVID-19 surge, which probably colors my receptiveness to devoting much outrage to the rare metals crisis. If you are an eco-warrior, you will probably disagree, and that's fine. This year is filled with short-term crises and frankly my attention is focused on my family's survival until the vaccine needle enters my arm. Ultimately, I think new technologies will arise to avoid any rare-metal doomsday. ( )
  Mike.Henderson | Nov 19, 2020 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Guillaume Pitron is an investigative journalist who specializes in understanding raw materials. His book "The Rare Metals War: The Dark Side of Clean Energy and Digital Technologies" provides an overview of what rare metals are, how they are extracted, and how they are used. The focus of the book is on the environmental and geopolitical problems associated with these elements.

Pitron's basic thesis is that while rare metals can help our dependency on fossil fuels, there is an extremely high environmental cost. He does not judge whether the costs outweigh the benefits, but he certainly provides enough evidence to make any reader wary of the current model of renewable energy, which is dependent on rare earth metals.

Although there are a few sections in which the author travels to different parts of the world, there is little gumshoe reporting. Rather, Pitron quickly portrays his destination as if he is writing the first paragraph of a Wikipedia entry, then moves on. I would have appreciated a better understanding of how the extraction of rare earth metals is impacting the people who are physically in and around the process. Instead, Pitron gives a few statistics, lists a few possible diseases, and then carries on.

The strength of this book is its scientific facts. There are lists and lists of elements and compounds and metals. There are good descriptions of how these elements are manufactured into usable components. Unfortunately, that holds little interest for me.

The title, "The Rare Metals War," refers to the geopolitical battle between the West and China, as Pitron sees it. He details China's trading practices and their geopolitical effects. Pitron rails against China's corporate policy of taking Western technological secrets, but he says little about the West's international policy of treating China as a disposable labor creche. I would like to read more about that; shouldn't China receive something in return for the labor we happily exploit?

The book includes a wonderful, comprehensive index and works cited.

By removing some of the descriptions and lists, the publisher could have turned this into a long article for a popular science magazine. As it is, the book is a simple recitation of facts, though certainly not facts I could have put together myself.

Unfortunately, amongst all the text about these elements, Pitron has left out the most important: the human element. ( )
  mvblair | Nov 17, 2020 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
A frightening look at the rare metal needs for our digital and green advances; the polluting and energy costs of mining and refining them; the nationalistic commandeering of them particularly by China, and their eminent depletion. There are a number of interesting charts and maps in the appendices many of which are sadly too small to read. ( )
  snash | Nov 15, 2020 |
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