Clean energy’s dirty secret: How push for modern technology has made Chinese pond toxic

Image credit: researchgate.net

The report says ‘Water is still leaching from the tailings pond towards the nearby Yellow River – China’s “mother river”, its basin home to 160 million people’. Are climate obsessives and those in renewables-hungry governments content to look the other way?
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There is an open wound in Baotou, says Sky News.

This city in Inner Mongolia, northern China, is home to more than two million people.

A lake lies on the west of the city, one filled with a black grey sludge of toxic and radioactive material.

This is a tailings pond, a quaint name for what is really a dumping ground.

Baotou is the global capital for rare earth elements – metals that are vital to modern technology and especially renewable energy.

This pond is clean energy’s dirty secret. It is the by-product of rare earth processing. It is open to the air but worse it is seeping into the ground below, poisoning the water.

The Chinese authorities are aware of the problem. That’s why they’re following us: at least eight cars always on our tail for three days.

They question anyone we speak to and eventually prevent us from speaking to them altogether, citing COVID-19 regulations.

But the locals still want to speak, mainly because they are unhappy that government promises to clean the mess up have not been kept.

In the villages surrounding the pond, a woman sitting on a sofa on the side of the street tells us “the water is bad – bad.”

“We asked them to give us something to filter it but they didn’t,” she says before the officials cut her off.

Along the same road, a farmer who has just finished watering his field says: “Our water is not very good. It doesn’t meet the standard of drinking water for humans or animals.”

He says that in another village not far away, people got sick.

“It’s called Dalahai village. The village was polluted – 30 to 40% of the villagers got cancer,” he says.

“After they found the pollution, the government moved all villagers to somewhere else. They banned local villagers from farming on the land.”

Continued here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

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April 17, 2022 at 01:33PM

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