Ernest Scheyder

10.06.24. internet

Ernest Scheyder is an author and senior correspondent for Reuters. His new book, The War Below: Lithium, Copper, and the Global Battle to Power Our Lives, looks at the impact of the green transition in the US – and, more particularly, the tensions over the increasing need to mine for metals to decarbonise the grid (and power a plethora of devices) against the nation’s desire to conserve the environment.

The book illustrates how materials effect geo-politics and the urge for energy security, inform the national debate, and impact at a very local level. It also suggests that  becoming more sustainable is anything but straightforward.

In this episode we talk about: why lithium and copper are vital to our futures; where the materials are mined and processed; material colonialism; how the pandemic changed perceptions of our supply chains; why some mineral-rich nations are excluding the US; the role of China in the 21st century global economy and the withering of US hegemony; the new ‘green arms race’; why mining is in a ‘perpetual state of decline’; the tension between local desires and global needs; the role of religion and conservation; child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo;  the ‘dualistic’ policies of President Biden; and Scheyder’s issue with leaf blowers…

Find out more about Ernest Scheyder

The Thacker Pass Lithium mine site in Nevada