To achieve a green transition, do we need more mining? – by Zachary Gan (Hamilton Spectator – November 30, 2023)

As we build more electric vehicles, Ontario’s government must recall what we stand to lose in the climate crisis.

We all know that swapping our gas-guzzling cars for electric vehicles is a crucial step in the fight against climate change.

But how much should we sacrifice in the name of getting more EVs on the road? For Ontario’s government, the answer: quite a lot. In fact, the government’s latest actions call into question whether the EV transition is about fighting climate change at all.

Recently, the Ontario government has set its sights on mining the Ring of Fire. This largely pristine region in Ontario’s Far North holds an undeveloped store of “critical minerals,” which Ford’s government claims are essential to their plans for transforming Ontario into an EV manufacturing powerhouse. The Ring of Fire is a high-priority project for Ford, and he has gone as far as stating, “If I have to hop on a bulldozer myself, we’re building the Ring of Fire.”

However, there are significant barriers to fulfilling this aspiration. First, there is little certainty that it would be financially viable. While speculation about the value of resources has reached extraordinary heights, there has never been a formal assessment of the costs of extraction. The Ring of Fire is a swampy and unforgiving landscape.

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