Endangered Flower at Crossroads of U.S.’s Lithium Future

Endangered Flower at Crossroads of U.S.’s Lithium Future

A battle is raging in Nevada as the U.S. Fish, and Wildlife Service announces it will be listing Tiehm’s buckwheat flower as an endangered species, striking a blow to a lithium mining project in the region. Lithium is required for the batteries that power electric vehicles, which the government is making significant investments in to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint. But environmentalists argue that the Rhyolite Ridge lithium mine in Nevada will do more harm than good. 

Why This Matters: The world is facing two major crises: global temperature rise and biodiversity loss. In the U.S., investing in renewable energy and electric power has been identified by experts as the quickest path to net-zero emissions and preventing catastrophic temperature rise.

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Future of EV Batteries from CA’s Salton Sea and the Shores of Lake MI

Future of EV Batteries from CA’s Salton Sea and the Shores of Lake MI

New electric vehicle battery capacity is cropping up across the U.S. — places like the Hell’s Kitchen Lithium and Power in California’s Imperial Valley where they are extracting lithium from the Salton Sea, and Ion Park, a “pilot facility” where Ford Motors will eventually produce batteries.

Why This Matters:  With EV sales expected to increase, particularly given the Biden Administration’s emphasis on their development, lithium is in such high demand that experts refer to it as “white gold.

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Scientists Develop Wearable Electric Generators, Harness the Power of the Human Body

Scientists Develop Wearable Electric Generators, Harness the Power of the Human Body

The world is becoming more and more like The Matrix every day, at least in one particular way: scientists have figured out how to use the human body as a battery. No, your body can’t produce enough energy to create a global simulation, but it can produce enough heat to charge wearable devices like smartwatches and implants like pacemakers. 

Why This Matters: Battery production and disposal have been problematic for decades. Mining for rare earth metals like such as cadmium, mercury, lead, and lithium threatens environments and communities across the globe.

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