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Electric Vehicles, Environmental and Moral Disasters

Electric vehicles, especially Teslas, are mega fun. Fast, quiet, filled with gadgets. From self-driving to fart sounds, they are quite entertaining. There is nothing more fun that slamming the go pedal. A buddy of mine has a dual motor Model S and it is 0-60 in barely over 3 seconds. That, my friends, is superbike acceleration. Fun stuff right there. While my personal taste runs to classics, old pickup trucks and sports cars, I surely can see the appeal. For local running around it would be a blast. There are, however, two problems that I just can’t get past. Child slavery and the environmental disaster that are electric vehicle batteries.

The use of child slaves in mining for valuable components such as lithium is truly a devastating reality. A report by the International Labour Organization and Unicef found that more than 1 million children were victims of modern slavery. The majority of these children working in remote and hostile conditions to mine materials that go into products like batteries. And yes, we know that cell phones use lithium, but comparing the 3 oz battery in your iPhone to the 1100 pound battery in your Tesla is just you trying to justify your immorality.

Batteries are anything but “green.” They contain a toxic brew of chemicals and minerals such as lead, nickel, cadmium, lithium, and cobalt. In addition to the fact that they are mobile pollution, manufacturing them requires a huge amount of energy. Beyond that, the mining and extraction of these minerals is really ugly business and does tremendous damage the environment. Not the least of the Chernobyl that is mining for battery components, is the pollution of the water.

Then again, if you don’t care about slave children being forced to work in horrid conditions, it is unlikely that you care that they are forced to drink poisonous water. Another cruel truth is that almost of these batteries, after they have outlived their usefulness, end up in American landfills, polluting our water. From start to finish, they are environmental disasters…the exact opposite of “green.”

Of course, most people can’t see beyond their noses. The electric plant, the nuclear reactor, the child slaves, the gash in the earth of the mines, the polluted water are all out of sight. As for me, as much fun as they are, I cannot own an electric vehicle.

It is just too cruel and immoral.

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