People used to talk around the water cooler about being sent to the salt mines as punishment. It was a joke. Tesla sends kids to cobalt mines - so that virtue signaling rich people can drive around in high-performance electric cars.
It's not funny.
Or even "environmentally friendly."
Cobalt is a critical component of lithium-ion batteries - and the high-performance electric batteries used to power Teslas need a lot of it. About 1,000 times more of it than is used to make a smartphone battery, which is just a few grams vs. about 1,000 pounds for Tesla's high-performance battery.
Of which about 17 pounds is cobalt in a Tesla Model 3.
Most of this cobalt is dug out of open pit mines in Africa - with kids as young as six-years-old doing much of the digging. By hand.
For $1.50 . . . per day.
It's toxic drudgery of almost unfathomable awfulness to people living in the West, especially people whisking along in their electric virtue-signaling mobiles.
Which aren't very virtuous - even if you buy the business about electric cars being absolutely necessary to reduce carbon dioxide "emissions."
Because they are high-performance electric cars.
How does a Tesla achieve "ludicrous speed"? By having the equivalent - in electric car terms - of a supercharged seven-liter V8 under its hood.
Or rather, under its floorpans.
A Tesla is more than twice as quick as the average non-electric car because it has a battery twice the size and twice as powerful as what's necessary to get from A to B at normal speed. Just as a Dodge Challenger Hellcat has twice as many cylinders (and three times as much power) as is necessary to get from A to B - as opposed to down the quarter mile in 10 seconds.
The Model 3 has a 1,054 pound battery pack - of which about half is gratuitously "wasteful" of hard-to-get materials such as cobalt.
A Dodge Challenger Hellcat does use a lot of gas. But it burns cleanly - and no six-year-olds were enslaved to procure it.
Plus, Hellcat drivers don't pretend they're saving the planet.
Or expect you to pay for their gas.
The cobalt - and the energy - used to make one high-performance electric car like the Model 3 - could be used to make two or even three Corolla-like electric cars.
Sensible electric cars.
Corolla-like electric cars wouldn't deliver "ludicrous speed." But they would be adequate for getting from A to B. Better, arguably . . . if the point of the exercise is to reduce energy consumption - and the resultant byproducts of consuming it.
A Corolla-like electric car that took 10 seconds to get to 60 instead of less than three would probably only need a 500 pound battery pack - and half the cobalt.
It would have a less powerful (and smaller/lighter) electric motor - which would use less electricity and so increase its range and reduce the amount of time waiting for it to recharge.
It would be much more practical - and it would cost a lot less.
But that would miss the unspoken point.
A sensible electric car would be a much harder sell to the virtue-signaling affluent who buy high-performance cars like the Tesla Model 3 and the just announced $185,000 to start Porsche Taycan.
They are not interested in driving around in electrified Corollas that don't accelerate ludicrously any more than they are interested in hot-bunking cots in a communal hive apartment complex or eating Soylent Green rather than ribeyes.
Which is why electric cars tout high-performance.
The object isn't to conserve resources. It's to waste them . . . in politically correct ways.
It is just another con.
A way for affluent people who don't intend to sacrifice anything for the sake of their politics to get others to pay the freight for their politics.
Including six-year-old kids clawing cobalt out of open pit mines in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It's of a piece with other toxic - and noxious - aspects of the electric car fraud. Most people don't know about the cobalt - or the hundreds of pounds of graphite that goes into a high-performance electric car battery. A single Tesla battery contains about 200 pounds of the stuff, which is also dug out of mines - using heavy equipment that isn't powered by solar panels or windmill farms.
It is then processed by furnaces that consume immense quantities of fuel - and which "emit" plumes of carbon dioxide.
But most of this happens far away, in China. Just as most cobalt mining happens out of sight - and mind - in far-away Congo.
These are among the environmental and human costs of the electric car fraud.
The greatest cost, however, may prove to be the stillborn electric car.
The Corolla-like electric car.
The sensible, affordable electric car. Which doesn't exist because of the subsidization of electric high-performance cars. These artificially created things have suppressed the natural development of sensible things - for the sake of the virtue-signaling affluent.
Who signal on our dime - and on the backs of six-year-olds in the Congo.
. . .
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