BOOKS: The horrors behind the mining industry that powers your life – by Russ Mitchell (Los Angeles Times – February 13, 2023)

You, the smartphone addict. The modern nomad, lugging your fancy laptop. The electric car driver, smug in your certainty that you’re making the world a better place. Look over here, under this rock; look at what you’d rather not see.

That’s what Siddharth Kara invites you to do in his damning new book, “Cobalt Red: How the Blood of the Congo Powers Our Lives.” Maybe you already know our booming battery-based economy depends on cobalt mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo. You’ve heard things are bad there. But I’d guess that, like me — smartphone addict, laptop lugger, owner of an electric car — you had no idea just how bad.

Kara’s book is timely, important, compelling, and while the subject is tough his approach is clear and concise and, in that way, easy to read. Anyone who prefers not to put head in sand against the unnecessary human tragedy that accompanies our free-spending lifestyle will benefit from reading this book.

The global economy that provides you your smartwatches, your Teslas and your e-bikes right now requires:

Massive displacement, as homes are cleared, neighborhoods destroyed, millions of trees chopped down to make way for open pit mines.

Toxic dumping that destroys land, crops, animals and fish stocks.

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