Sunday, March 20, 2011

Downstream Of Green

Belmont Club » Downstream of Green: "And upstream too. The Daily Mail looks at the Chinese industrial area supplying the magnets for Europe’s clean wind farms. It’s a wasteland. The Chinese industrial area that is.
The reality is that, as Britain flaunts its environmental credentials by speckling its coastlines and unspoiled moors and mountains with thousands of wind turbines, it is contributing to a vast man-made lake of poison in northern China. This is the deadly and sinister side of the massively profitable rare-earths industry that the ‘green’ companies profiting from the demand for wind turbines would prefer you knew nothing about.

Hidden out of sight behind smoke-shrouded factory complexes in the city of Baotou, and patrolled by platoons of security guards, lies a five-mile wide ‘tailing’ lake. It has killed farmland for miles around, made thousands of people ill and put one of China’s key waterways in jeopardy.

This vast, hissing cauldron of chemicals is the dumping ground for seven million tons a year of mined rare earth after it has been doused in acid and chemicals and processed through red-hot furnaces to extract its components.
But the Chinese don’t vote in British elections. They are not a relevant constituency for the Greens.  So who gives a damn?"
Whoops. ANd don't forget the maintenance problems.