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New study: Copper mines can’t extract enough material needed for EVs

By Olivia Murray

A team of University of Michigan researchers recently discovered that the amount of copper needed to keep up with the manufactured demand created by the globalist E.V. agenda is “essentially impossible” to generate. On May 16th, Engineering and Technology published an article by Tanya Weaver which covered the results of the new study:

Copper cannot be mined quickly enough to keep up with current policies requiring the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), according to a University of Michigan study.

The study found that renewable energy’s copper needs would outstrip what copper mines can produce at the current rate. Between 2018 and 2050, the world will need to mine 115% more copper than has been mined in all of human history up until 2018 just to meet current copper needs without considering the green energy transition.

To meet the copper needs of electrifying the global vehicle fleet, as many as six new large copper mines must be brought online annually over the next several decades. About 40% of the production from new mines will be required for EV-related grid upgrades.

So what exactly do these numbers look like, in context? Well here’s this, also from Weaver:

[A]n EV requires three to five times more copper than petrol or diesel cars, not to mention the copper required for upgrades to the electricity grid.

‘A normal Honda Accord needs about 40 pounds of copper. The same battery electric Honda Accord needs almost 200 pounds of copper,’ said Adam Simon, professor of earth and environmental studies at the University of Michigan.

‘We show in the paper that the amount of copper needed is essentially impossible for mining companies to produce.’

Now, copper mining is largely “open pit mining” (as opposed to underground mining) which is extremely destructive to the environment and a landscape—this certainly isn’t an argument against copper mining as it’s a necessary product for conducting electricity as we currently know it, I’m just simply stating the reality—and the implications are widespread. You have to consider water and soil contamination and what that means for crops and people, reduced (or eliminated) biodiversity of flora and fauna, air quality, etc. In fact, some scholars believe that the Timna Mines (also known as King Solomon’s mines), which were “one of the most important sources of copper” in biblical times, came to a grinding halt because of the associated environmental devastation, rather than the traditional belief of political events:

Although earlier theories as to the halt of copper production focused mainly on outside external factors, such as the ninth-century campaign of Hazael into Canaan, a new study by a Tel Aviv University team posits a different idea—that the over-exploitation of the already poor Timna ecosystem led to extreme environmental degradation, which in turn made continued mining financially unviable. The ecological effects of this event can still be seen in the area around Timna, where acacia trees and other desert flora are all but absent.

And of course, to top it all off, all this modern mining must be done by…? Here’s this, from Copper.org:

In each of these mining methods [open pit and underground], various earth-moving equipment including shovels, dozers, hauling trucks, and loaders are used to remove and transport the ore. However, the first step is to loosen the rock in the ore body so that it can be moved and processed. Blasting and grinding equipment are used to accomplish this task.

Well duh! What else but crude oil? Heavy diesel machinery, oil-based lubricants, gasoline, etc.

Meanwhile, the hole for fracking is between one and two feet in diameter, with most of the drilling infrastructure hidden underground. This doesn’t mean that drilling for oil doesn’t yield any adverse consequences, but when done properly and responsibly, far fewer than the impact of copper mining. And, when that E.V. plugs into the grid, from where does the “charge” come? Hint: coal, natural gas, and oil.

When all the real costs are considered, E.V.s are obviously a net negative for the environment, human rights (slavery used for cobalt mining), and energy reliability.

The researchers conclude their study by offering a “more feasible” option, which is pushing hybrid vehicles instead of electric cars:

‘We know, for example, that a Toyota Prius actually has a slightly better impact on climate than a Tesla. Instead of producing 20 million EVs in the US and, globally, 100 million battery EVs each year, would it be more feasible to focus on building 20 million hybrid vehicles?’

It goes without saying that governments mandating any kind of vehicle, or pushing a hybrid agenda is just as unacceptable as the E.V. policies, but I have to wonder if the above conclusion suggests that we may be at an inflection point.

 

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2024/05/new_study_copper_mines_can_t_extract_enough_material_needed_for_evs.html

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