The UK Daily Mail has published a shocking and sobering account of a four year old child from the Democratic Republic of Congo named Dorsen.
He is one of thousands of children who work in Katanga cobalt mines in which working conditions are literally a living hell. Dorsen is one of many children who are paid 8 pounds a day to inspect piled rocks looking for brown streaks on them that indicate the presence of cobalt – the mineral used in batteries, not just for cell phones, but primarily for electric cars.
While checking rocks for cobalt, Dorsen is exposed to a toxic red dust that not only burns his eyes but exposes him and other workers to lung infections and skin diseases that result not only in serious illness but even death. Great Britain recently pledged to convert their automobile fleets to electric cars by 2040, but their green energy pledge is all for nothing since cobalt mining is an environmental, labor and health disaster for people in the Congo where the mineral is plentiful.
Thankfully, battery manufacturers are backing out from obtaining cobalt from suppliers who obtain the mineral from the region due to the news reports about mine conditions. The reports about Dorsen and other children profiled resulted in charity efforts to remove some kids working in the mines and move them to children homes including schooling. Others, sadly, are not so lucky.
The disaster of embracing so-called clean energy sources shows it is time to reject the hype climate alarmists and environmentalists make along with their call to restrict carbon-based energy use. The green chicken littles and politicians claiming the sky is falling because of human caused global warming. The policy prescriptions, like electric cars, result in massive environmental and cultural degradation in third-world countries that in many ways subsidize and diminishes the West’s effort to reduce fossil fuel use.