Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Update on lithium batteries

While yesterday brought the third in the Washington Post's series on the environmental ramifications of lithium batteries (focusing on lithium itself) today has some good news. A group of companies using lithium batteries in their products, including Apple, have created the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) with a goal of addressing social and environmental ramifications of their products. 

There's not a simple set goal yet, and that's because things are complicated. As the piece says, "Exactly what to do about the artisanal mining of cobalt is a matter of heated debate. The practice is rife with dangers. On the other hand, it also helps desperately poor people make a living, particularly in the rural areas of Congo."

Tradeoffs, tradeoffs. Welcome to the world of Economics.

(Here are links to the earlier WaPo pieces on graphite and cobalt.)

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