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.)