Green, Greener, Greenest

Image by opalpeterliu from Flickr

Today the US Department of Energy announced in a report that the US could face a significant short fall in the rare earth minerals needed to fuel our “green” technologies. From wind turbines, to compact fluorescent bulbs and electric cars, China has signaled the end of its role in supplying the world. Specifically, China has rejected fueling a green revolution not their own, and now we are scrambling to figure out how we can extract these critical minerals on our own soil. The interesting conundrum, is that to get at that green technology, we will need to strip those resources away from the earth, perhaps from our national parks and forests; so really, how “green” is green?  What is the difference in mining coal and mining dysprosium, terbium or cerium?  Does it make sense to replace one earth stripping resource for another?

I’m curious, when will we as a nation refrain from re-acting and begin pro-acting when it comes to our precious gifts?


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