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Blood Batteries: Liberals Green Colonialism Exploiting the African Poor

Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2023
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by Ben Solis
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AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis

African child labor for cobalt batteries

As President Joe Biden and his Democrat allies rush to force every American into an electric vehicle, the resulting surge in demand for cobalt and other rare earth minerals used in battery making has brought suffering and tragedy to some of the poorest countries on earth.

During international meetings in Rome last month, African leaders warned that the West’s strategy for combatting “climate change” by building an ever-larger fleet of EVs is both undercutting their supposed concern for the environment and destroying the lives of entire communities. Specifically, mining operations for minerals like nickel, lithium, cobalt, and copper are poisoning the air and water sources, while women and children as young as six years old toil long hours in unsafe conditions.

The catastrophic effects of these mining operations can be observed most acutely in Western and Central Africa, particularly the Democratic Republic Of Congo (DRC) where families are fleeing insecurity and danger. The DRC supplied nearly 75 percent of the world’s cobalt in 2021, and it is estimated that up to 40,000 children under 15 work in the mines.

While the DRC is among the poorest countries in the world in terms of average household income, it is one of the richest in terms of natural resources, including large reserves of oil, natural gas, gold, and diamonds. Three quarters of the world’s silver, valued at $4.44 billion, is mined in the DRC each year.

But many of those mining operations have now given way to copper, lead, and cobalt – the life force of the left’s “green revolution.” The International Energy Agency estimates explosive growth in worldwide demand for cobalt in the coming years, largely driven by government-subsidized growth in the EV market. A typical electric car battery needs around 30 pounds of cobalt – now referred to as “blue gold” in the mining industry.

While mining companies in developed nations today have a long list of safety precautions they must comply with and minimum wage requirements, no such protections exist in the third world countries where the vast majority of cobalt and rare earth minerals are extracted.

A new book released earlier this year from Siddharth Kara, a senior fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, entitled Cobalt Red, reveals just how horrid the conditions are that many of these miners are suffering through.

According to Kara, at least 30 percent of cobalt miners in the DRC are “artisanal” – a polite term for laborers who perform extremely dangerous work for the equivalent of just a few dollars a day. Many own no tools and dig with their bare hands, often contracting severe illness in the wet and filthy conditions.

As a heavy metal, cobalt is toxic to touch and breathe. Yet entire villages work in mines surrounded by a haze of cobalt dust. Mothers toil with young children strapped to their backs. Birth defects have skyrocketed.

Mining for other metals like lead is similarly dangerous. According to Kara, the EPA advises a maximum safe limit of 40 micrograms of lead per square foot inside homes, but in Congo’s “copper belt,” homes average 170 micrograms. These elevated levels can have severe effects on the human nerve and digestive systems, as well as fertility. In children, lead poisoning can lead to irreversible developmental issues.

Even people who are not involved in mining directly but live close to the mining areas have been found to have very high concentrations of heavy metals in their systems. The water sources are all likewise contaminated, and even wildlife such as fish and chickens show abnormally high levels of cobalt and lead.

The miners, meanwhile, earn 11 cents per kilogram of cobalt ore. On a good day, a miner might be able to extract 40 kilograms. One local villager told Kara that although everyone dug, no one became rich: “We do not earn enough to meet our needs.”

Many commentators have referred to these conditions as “medieval,” but that is not exactly accurate. While medieval life was undoubtedly difficult, societies in the Middle Ages also embraced serving the poor, the sick, and orphans, often through the institutions of the mutual aid and social care societies of the Catholic Church.

But no such protections exist in the DRC, and Christians are persecuted there (the DRC regularly makes the Open Doors list of the most dangerous countries in the world for Christians).

Many locals have explicitly called the situation in the DRC modern colonialism, and have compared their lives to those of slaves. Indeed, most of the mining operations in the DRC are controlled by foreign firms – primarily from China, which has made major claims in mineral extraction in Africa.

But while the West has been eager to denounce Chinese human rights abuses in China, the liberal green agenda is now by default hopelessly reliant on Chinese mining operations in other parts of the world.

In some cases, the links between Western leaders and exploitative mining operations are even more direct. As The New York Times reported in 2021, Hunter Biden once helped a Chinese company acquire ownership of one of the world’s richest cobalt mines in the DRC while his father was vice president. Amid new revelations that Joe Biden sat in on at least 20 business calls with his son while vice president, it’s worth asking whether or not the older Biden was involved in this deal as well.

Western liberals have made a virtual cottage industry out of bemoaning the abuses seen during the era of colonization. But now, their climate change obsession is creating a new and in some ways far worse version of it.

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher.

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A.Beth
A.Beth
10 months ago

No words….thank you for educating us….I have considered EV’s (being from an oil rich region of US)a joke. But the whole picture of truth is absolutely appalling….

David Millikan
David Millikan
10 months ago

More evidence of biden’s Corruption and Treason against the United States and American citizens.

R M McC
R M McC
10 months ago

This is horrible. These people are in effect slaves. And their being forced to mine these minerals to create more batteries for electric cars, to be able to be sold at exorbitant prices that many many people can’t afford to buy, if they wanted too. And who’s getting richer from these purchases under the guise that it’s being done in the name of saving the planet!! So to speak. It’s disgusting what is happening to our country and that Biden is pushing this agenda. Everyone involved in forcing slave labor should have to go into these mines and work them to be able to understand what is happening in the DRC.

Jeff
Jeff
10 months ago

It is awful. Neo-colonialism and neo-slavery made in Biden’s White House.

Harry
Harry
10 months ago

Obvious to any human that The White Biden administration and black members of Congress are forever yelling Racist against White Americans While they condone this going on in Africa. They are all Racist against the Black population in Africa to do their “dirty” work for them and they don’t give a damn about their health and well being!!! And neither does the Media!!

Mark Jastrow
Mark Jastrow
10 months ago

The so-called ‘great reset’ that pushes the ‘green revolution’ is one great deception of taxpayers. As this text shows, the ‘green’ firms are getting massive subsidies and exploiting vulnerable people in Africa. It is horrible that Congress cannot stop this madness. We must vote in the new White House. This one will wreck us.

BJ
BJ
10 months ago

As usual, follow the money. The number of people who sell their souls for money while bringing misery and pain on the innocent grows every day. When will it end? Greed and the grave are never satisfied!

Jghoosier
Jghoosier
10 months ago

Hopefully I will never have to buy an E.V. Several of our neighbors have them because they are fast. 40 thousand black children slaves, I want no part of that!!!

Samuel Law
Samuel Law
10 months ago

I agree that the Chinese are not so much interested in natural resources in the south but primarily in military ports and these installations. China obviously will acquire whatever would be available – it is the nature of communism to plunder and waste.
I was part of the West’s effort to modernize some mines in Central Africa. In the early 1990s, we faced armed Russian gangs, primarily former directors of the plants deserted by the Soviet Union. Then in the late 1990s, China founded joint ventures with the Russian mafia. By the time I left, Russians and the Chinese co-controlled dozens of coal and other mines. I can imagine that cooperation between the two monsters has only deepened with all other changes in other areas. The most reputable U.S. capital left this region by around 2000. I do not know more modern history. But as I said, I am pessimists about the Chinese-Russian presence there.
The vice president and his family should not have considered investing there. If Biden was involved, it is another reason for his impeachment.

Joseph Shiller
Joseph Shiller
10 months ago

China may reach Southern America but not so much for rare earth. Most of these resources are in their soil. But of course, their firm’s mining metals abroad also fulfill tasks for Beijing’s military. Their economic expansion matters to the degree they can pursue their goal to conquer the world – since they are Leninists.
Biden either does not know it or is playing dumb. But it is a risky game. Russians may now be part of the Chinese Communist Party’s plan to destabilize and confuse the world. The Chinese benefit from the war in Ukraine, even if some grain does not reach them.
It is crucial to publish such materials. Not everyone reads everything. Is there nothing new here? I beg to differ. That deception element of the “green revolution” mentioned above is here correctly emphasized. Its other name is the destruction of America as we know it.

Gary Brooks
Gary Brooks
10 months ago

Another side affect of environmental radicalization brought on by liberals and elites who are hypocritical and unscientific in their conclusions about climate change. We as a Constitutional Republic strengthened by the belief that all men have a right to express themselves must restore sanity both in the voting booth and in the public square. We must attain the knowledge to counter these elites and restore common sense and freedom for all

Carl
Carl
10 months ago

Thanks for the article, very true, I spent 4 years working in the DRC, a terrible abuse of the people and environment, you did not mention the deaths from mining especially the children.

Ed
Ed
10 months ago

When the media asked John Kerry about his opinion on the Chinese forcing political prisoners to slave labor in manufacturing solar panels, he replied: I am the other guy. I wonder if, in this case, he thinks of himself as “this guy.” He, Gore, and other Democrats-dinosaurs like Biden and Pelosi imposed this disaster there.

Randy
Randy
10 months ago

So let me get this straight blood diamonds bad, blood batteries good. This just shows how hypocritical our government is.

Ed Sawa
Ed Sawa
10 months ago

Thank you for this informative article. Those on the left, as well as Climate Change Activist, need to read this article and the book “Cobalt Red”. I’m ordering my book now, as well as copies to mail to my “no-so Right” family members.Keep up the great work you do. Ed S.

Cathy Q.
Cathy Q.
10 months ago

How horrible we treat each other to get more stuff we don’t need. God bless

Morbious
Morbious
10 months ago

The stark fact is that lefties dont care about people. They care about their vision and that vision centers around a radical reduction in human population.

Sue
Sue
9 months ago

So much for the value of human life and children. I guess protecting the environment supersedes human life and the safety of children. Sad thing is that they do not even benefit from their labor. Illness and death is the sure reward of what they do. It is disgusting that there is absolutely no regard for the lives and welfare of these people.

BCSBUG
BCSBUG
10 months ago

This is hard to read — seeing the Greenies in this country and their total disregard for the suffering their “religion” causes to many less privileged people, especially children around the world. Can no one STOP THIS????

Jeanette
Jeanette
10 months ago

More people should read this article. Te current administration is doing a disservice by pushing their so called Green Energy. Problem is that most people aren’t independent enough to find out what’s behind the push. Thata pretty sad.

Paul W
Paul W
10 months ago

leftist DON’T care about the environment. They DON’T care about whom they harm or even kill. The only thing they DO care about is pushing a narrative that facilitates lining their pockets, usurping power which gives them control, which ultimately leads back to them lining their pockets. A huge component of evil is greed.

DenvilleSr
DenvilleSr
10 months ago

Liberals have long loved “participation badges.” Kids got buttons or trophies for showing up to run a race. It says, “Look at me. I did it and have the proof.” The green energy support by liberals is nothing more than a participation badge, proclaiming, “I am doing my part to save the planet.” Participation trophies have had a negative impact on children, by teaching that it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, as long as you show up.” Liberal green energy badges (owning an EV, demonstrating at a rally, supporting clueless political candidates, wearing T-shirts with a green theme) are no different from the kids’ participation trophies. The people who covet them, don’t want to know that much about stuff that is a long way from them that they can’t see and believe doesn’t impact them. Unfortunately, they vote and are awarded a sticker to prove it.

Aleta Buteau
Aleta Buteau
10 months ago

No EV for me!!

Richard Stewart
Richard Stewart
10 months ago

There was a time when, what we now call the “main street media”, would investigate and report to the world on travesties like this. The world is not changing for the better in the things that are important.

Carl
Carl
10 months ago

Liberals, elites and democrats exploit and lie about everything. The left lies about their very existence. I can’t think of a one leftist policy that has actually worked, unless the goal was to destroy the country and ruin people’s lives; not one. 

Jeri
Jeri
10 months ago

They don’t care who they exploit. If they cared they wouldn’t do it…there’s your proof they don’t care.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
10 months ago

As if Joe Biden cares… the only thing he does care about is getting the Big Guy 10%.

Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
10 months ago

the democrat-democratic- democracy party members have never cared about people. they only care about getting rich at others expense.

Nick
Nick
10 months ago

This travesty still has been common knowledge for years the media will not cover it. Cuz you know if everybody doesn’t drive electric cars it’s the end of the world. So why don’t we all just go jump off a cliff get it over with? Because it’s all Bs it’s all about power and big government and more regulation. They don’t give a rip about slavery they don’t give a rip about blacks nothing all they are concerned about is their power, their government and their regulations. This is not going to end well

Donald King
Donald King
10 months ago

Why aren’t we seeing any comments from the “green energy champions” out there that read this information defending all of this? Could be that there is no defense for what is happening.

Thinking
Thinking
10 months ago

No Words can make good what the elites of the world are doing to third world countries. They have thrown money at it. Supplied them with food and medicines and they stil struggle and work for peanuts so that the elites are getting richer every day. Millions of dollars for climate change that does not make our environment any better only makes it worse in other parts of the world. As long as the money grabbers keep on making money they will not really get down to improve our environment all over the world. As long as climate change is profitable nothing drastic will be done. Look at John Kerry, flying everywhere because he has to, according to him. I think zoom calls work just as well. Today someone asked me who or what organization can get all this turned around. As long as money is to be made and dictators rule, nothing will change, till something drastic happens and the people stand up against the rich and powerful. Actually stand up.

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
9 months ago

The LEFT (Marxists, Commies, whatever) present everything as “static.” We do what they say and there are NO negative consequences. Drive an EV and use solar on our homes and businesses. No mention of the “carbon emissions” from the mining, the forced child labor, or the fact that China controls the vast majority of the raw materials AND the battery-making plants!

Emily
Emily
10 months ago

After all this, you still question whether Joe was involved with Hunter’s dealings??!! This is asinine!

Myrna
Myrna
9 months ago

Thhis gives new meaning to the effects of “Globalism”

Robert Chase
Robert Chase
9 months ago

Amazing how uncaring the climate terrorists are. They scream of the need to protect the climate while destroying humans. Wrecking our country and culture is bad, exploiting these poor folk in Africa to their early demise is criminal. Unfortunate the governments in these African nations are too corrupt to protect their citizens. Sounds like our government also!

Reese
Reese
9 months ago

And some of us wonder why the rest of the world hates us. SMH

PaulE
PaulE
10 months ago

No real news here. The Chinese bought the mineral rights to just about everything in the DRC many years ago and control both the mining and refining of all such minerals to the entire world. All part of the Belt and Road Initiative effort China has with over 40 countries around the world.

China owns or controls upwards of 75 to 90 percent of all the crucial minerals needed for the so-called “green revolution”. The West is completely dependent on China as long as we continue this economical and environmental suicide pact most of the West’s leaders have signed on to. All to simply line their own pockets in the biggest financial scam ever perpetrated on the people of the world by the globalists that will result in reducing the masses to the level of serfs.

The conditions outlined in the DRC also exist in almost every other African nation that the CCP has similar deals with. It has all been documented quite well over the past dozen or more years. President Xi regularly boasts about the degree of control these deals have given the CCP.

By the way, China is in the process of signing similar deals for minerals through all of South America. We are committing national suicide and are elevating China to be the undisputed lone superpower of the world as the West cripples itself. Yet the sheep will continue to play their part and continue to allow all this to occur right in front of them. You can’t make this stuff up.

BEA
BEA
9 months ago

The main street media should be investigating and reporting on this. But they won’t. The main street media is in the pockets of the democrats. So wrong on so many levels.

BEA
BEA
9 months ago

The democrats, the left, they will exploit the black people of Africa as long as they can for electric cars. Joe Biden will get richer off of them. Biden’s administration doesn’t care. They will use them as long as they can for the minerals needed for EV everything. Disgusting!

Irv C
Irv C
9 months ago

You can text that biden creature and he claims he wants Americans to text him. I send texts regularly and I don’t believe HE reads them but his little baby ghouls do. (302)404-0880 is the number to the evil empires leader. I read articles such as this and want to throw up. This Nazi regime is poisoning the planet.

Cookiepress
Cookiepress
9 months ago

Joe Biden obviously has dimentia. His puppet masters are responsible. And, no I am not making excuses for him. If he doesn’t have it he’s a good actor.

Robin W Boyd
Robin W Boyd
9 months ago

I am not at all opposed to alternative power sources to fossil fuel energy. What I do oppose is pushing energy sources that are as bad, if not worse than fossil fuels, just in different ways. The most important thing we need to keep in mind is that it is still mostly fossil fuel produced energy that provides the electricity for charging/operating electric products.

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