To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we need to stop digging up fossil fuels. But the switch to renewables doesn’t mean we stop digging altogether. Wind turbines contain literal tons of copper and iron. Batteries for electric vehicles contain lithium, cobalt and nickel. All those materials come out of the ground—and we need to dig up more of them to power the switch to renewables. In other words, we need more mining. But mines can wreak havoc on the environment and on communities living nearby. One group of unlikely allies is trying to change that. Today on the show: the global push to make mining cleaner and safer.
- Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance
- Nuskmata, Land Defender, Nuxalk and Secwepemc Nations
- Jon Samuel, Global Head of Responsible Business Partnerships at Anglo American
- Jessica Duran, Social Responsibility Coordinator for Carrizal Mining
The U.S. Department of the Interior is working to strengthen mining regulations. In the coming months, you can provide public comment on these efforts and make your voice heard!
Check out this map of mines—past, present and proposed—from the U.S. Geological Survey. So many mines!
How to Save a Planet is a Spotify original podcast and Gimlet production hosted by Alex Blumberg. This episode was produced by Daniel Ackerman. The rest of our reporting and producing team includes Kendra Pierre-Louis, Rachel Waldholz, Anna Ladd and Hannah Chinn. Our supervising producer is Katelyn Bogucki. Our editor is Caitlin Kenney. Our intern is Nicole Welch. Sound design and mixing by Peter Leonard, with original music by Peter Leonard and Emma Munger. Our fact checker for this episode is Claudia Geib.
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