The Lithium Calamity: Poison Mountain, Green Idiocracy

Who Wants to Follow China’s Long Toxic Walk?

China has long been famous for its poisoned air, toxic rivers, and deadly soil. Now the aging dragon faces a new toxic calamity: a looming mountain of poisoned and unusable lithium batteries from electric vehicles.

Coming Poison Tsunami

These EV Batteries are Only Good for 5 Years

China is moving to force its rapidly aging population to buy electric vehicles (EVs), even though these batteries become unusable after 5 years and disposing of this looming mountain of toxicity is beyond China’s current infrastructure.

This month, China [said] that it would eventually phase out sales of all fossil-fuel cars.

… The average lifespan of a lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery, the dominant type in China’s electric vehicles, is around five years, according to Li Changdong, chairman of the Hunan-based Brunp group, China’s top electric car battery recycler in 2016 (link in Chinese).

… China’s not the only one facing a recycling headache. In the European Union, only 5% (pdf) of lithium-ion batteries, another common type of battery power used in electric vehicles are recycled, according to data from non-governmental environment advocacy group Friends of the Earth Europe, which pointed out that “most of the current lithium is either dumped in landfill or incinerated.” ___

Lithium batteries produce toxic gases, and too often catch fire.

“Nowadays, lithium-ion batteries are being actively promoted by many governments all over the world as a viable energy solution to power everything from electric vehicles to mobile devices. The lithium-ion battery is used by millions of families, so it is imperative that the general public understand the risks behind this energy source,” explained Dr Jie Sun, lead author on the study. __

Not Just China’s Problem

As noted by the articles above, Europe and parts of the Anglosphere will soon have to face looming toxic mountains of their own green Idiocracy. And by all indications, EU nations intend to double down on stupid green, and develop their toxic storage and EV infrastructure at a near-exponential rate.

Exponential Growth in Lithium Storage

Toxic Lithium Mountain Meant to Solve Nonexistent Problem

Without considering the need or counting the consequences, green idiocracies have chosen badly. The black shadow cast by the emerging mountain of discarded lithium batteries is beginning to darken the futures of more and more developing and emerging nations. And for what? To make a handful of politically connected billionaires even wealthier, and to make the masses of unthinking green acolytes feel even more self-righteous.

The mountains of worthless lithium wastes belong with the vast landscapes of rapidly obsolescing wind turbines and solar arrays, which have been forced upon well-meaning populations by their corrupt and ideologically bent governments and toxic green corporate cultures. None of it is justified, and all of it will take a huge chunk out of the time and resources which humanity could otherwise put toward building an abundant and expansive human future.

Reliable and affordable electric power and transportation energy are key aspects of a modern society’s critical infrastructure. If that infrastructure is built on faulty and toxic foundations, a lot of people will die.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood © .


As for China, it was already sinking into a quagmire of debt. In no way can it deal with the lithium calamity in a timely or effective manner, given its demographic and economic trends.

In 2015-16, the IMF estimates, it took 20 trillion renminbi of new credit to raise nominal GDP by just 5 trillion renminbi.


Graphic look at China’s debt problem

Bad debt in China is approaching $1 trillion, and will only get larger along with the overall great debt mountain of China. Even worse, state owned enterprises borrow more and more just to pay interest on previous loans, which only kicks the default can down the road and makes the final reckoning even worse. This will not end well, as a study of 43 previous large credit booms around the world has shown.

… if too much of [China’s] debt is bad there is increased risk of an economic crises that would halt economic growth and take years to fix. The government has made this worse by allowing economic data reporting to be “adjusted” to suit the needs of local (provincial) officials. That was bad enough (and is now being fixed) but during several decades of rapid economic growth this flawed data allowed the state owned banks (which still dominate the economy) to lend too much money. Thus debt in China keeps rising. It went from 254 percent of GDP (nearly three times what it was before 2008) in 2015 to 277 percent in 2016 and unless the government can develop some solutions it will be over 300 percent by the end of the decade. What makes this pile of debt trap so toxic is that, much, if not most of this debt consists of loans that the borrower cannot repay, or not repay in a timely fashion. ___ Source

California doubles down on stupid

Electric Vehicle Makers Lose Big Money

GM … loses about $9,000 on every Chevrolet Bolt electric car it sells. Tesla had record sales of its EVs last year — and still lost $675 million on $7 billion in sales. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV loses $20,000 on every electric version of its 500-model subcompact sold in the U.S., Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said in a speech in Italy on Monday. Battery-powered models should be marketed based on consumer demand and not depend on incentives, he said. __

Government idiocy drives this toxic economic disaster.

We’re gonna need a lot more guillotines! 😉

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10 Responses to The Lithium Calamity: Poison Mountain, Green Idiocracy

  1. Matt Musson says:

    Trading biodegradable organic liquids for toxic heavy metals and salts is so stupid only progressives would be stupid enough to do it.

    China is looking at the 19th People’s Congress next month. Xi is supposed to choose a successor. He will probably pick himself. Could go South in a great big hurry.

    • alfin2101 says:

      China has learned to live with toxic air, water, food, and soil. Disease rates reflect this ubiquitous self-poisoning, but it would take the collapse of China’s workforce to make CCP leaders accept the need to clean up the system.

      The same reluctance to reform a sick system applies to China’s debt mountain. Until the situation reaches a critical stage of near collapse, the CCP is likely to channel more magma into the swelling debt volcano.

  2. infowarrior1 says:

    china at least has nuclear energy going for them.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Yes, nuclear is part of the overall Chinese energy strategy. Unfortunately, China suffers from a phenomenon known as “quality fade,” where plant owners and operators start off strong, then over time begin to institute cost cutting strategies which become “corner cutting” and “quality reduction” policies. This is so common as to become expected by anyone who deals with Chinese businesses. If applied to nuclear plants, “toxic China” could easily become radioactive China or glow-in-the-dark China without ever having been attacked by outsiders.

      • infowarrior1 says:

        Can China be made to do anything right?

      • infowarrior1 says:

        That would mean death rates of epic proportions in the coming years caused by radiation sickness and mutations causing disease.

        • alfin2101 says:

          China is already suffering from long-term toxicity of the soil and chronic poisoning of the air and the waters. Nuclear reactor accidents might well add to the environmental health problems China already suffers, but the magnitude of harm caused by a typical nuclear reactor accident should not be confused with the harm from a nuclear bomb explosion — even a “dirty bomb” explosion. Dirty bombs are made to maximise spread and exposure. Nuclear reactors for power plants — on the other hand — tend to be located within very strong containment structures. The catastrophic Fukushima tsunami/earthquake/meltdown is a good example, where tens of thousands died from the natural disasters while none died from radiation.

          • info says:

            Mortality is not in itself sufficient data. Morbidity(non-lethal disease) as a result must also be taken into account.

        • info says:

          ” Nuclear reactor accidents might well add to the environmental health problems China already suffers, but the magnitude of harm caused by a typical nuclear reactor accident should not be confused with the harm from a nuclear bomb explosion — even a “dirty bomb” explosion. ”

          How are you sure that given chinese phenomenon of “quality fade”?

          • alfin2101 says:

            I’m glad you asked the question: “How are you sure that given chinese phenomenon of “quality fade?”

            I picked up the term from the insightful book, Poorly Made in China, written by a business consultant who spent decades in China dealing with the deeply discouraging phenomenon.

            But the phenomenon is not new, and is very familiar to anyone who has had extensive dealings with Chinese businesses. Consider China’s history:

            At the end of the 19th century, the West rushed to buy China’s beautiful silk products. Demand quickly expanded, and new players moved into the market. As competition intensified, manufacturers began to cut corners on quality, and silk products out of China soon gained a reputation as inferior goods. By the beginning of the 20th century, traders were already looking elsewhere, and Japan, which had been building a reputation for delivering a more consistently high-quality product, became an attractive alternative. By 1930, Japan was exporting twice as much silk as China.

            One of the problems facing China is that manufacturers continue to engage in a practice I call “quality fade.” This is the deliberate and secret habit of widening profit margins through a reduction in the quality of materials. Importers usually never notice what’s happening; downward changes are subtle but progressive. The initial production sample is fine, but with each successive production run, a bit more of the necessary inputs are missing. __

            The too-frequent collapses of buildings, tunnels, power distribution towers, roadways, and other badly built structures in China which used inferior methods and materials, are perpetual reminders of the phenomenon to anyone who wishes to look deeply enough.

            It goes beyond the superficial reasons of cost-cutting and cutting corners for profit to deeper layers of motivation. But you have to look to find the problem. Otherwise it is too easy to whistle in the dark and get blindsided.

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