What gets me about this article isn’t the point he’s making. I understand a little about the malevolent conflicts around the mining of precious minerals in parts of Africa. A very little. But he is writing it from a NOW point of view.
What leaps out at me is two-fold: firstly, it seems that politics is using companies’ business positions to leverage politics and policing. It isn’t surprising that the companies are resisting it, but there’s no reason why they should be allowed to handle what is effectively stolen goods or goods obtained through force. No ordinary person would be.
Secondly, I’ve recently learned about Hanlon’s Razor.
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Can anyone explain to me why it is that all these new technologies, communications devices and fancy games consoles need to use rare minerals and metals anyway? Why has no one started inventing things that work differently? What is wrong with the people running the mining companies, do they not realise that it will run out?
Of course they do. They don’t care. Why would they? They’ll either just sell up and move the business to something else, or they’ll be worm food anyway, so why does it matter to them what happens to the earth.
You would hope that those companies are financing technology research into inventing a completely different method of communication; not just making a quick buck out of twenty years of mining a rare mineral, but how stupid would that make you?
Maybe the best we can hope for is that they work out how to artificially create the same mineral compounds before they use everything the earth has to offer.
Makes you wonder.