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The Rare Metals War: The Dark Side of Clean Energy and Digital Technologies


Guillaume Pitron


The resources race is on. Powering our digital lives and green technologies are some of the Earth's most precious metals - but they are running out. And what will happen when they do?

The green-tech revolution will reduce our dependency on nuclear power, coal, and oil, heralding a new era free of pollution, fossil-fuel shortages, and cross-border tensions. But there is a hidden dark side to this seemingly utopian vision.

In this international bestseller, award-winning journalist and documentary-maker Guillaume Pitron reveals that, by breaking free of fossil fuels, we are in fact setting ourselves up for a new dependence - on rare metals such as cobalt, gold, and palladium.

These are essential to electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels, as well as our  smartphones, computers, tablets, and other technologies. But we know very little about how rare metals are mined and traded, or their environmental, economic, and geopolitical costs; meanwhile, China has captured the lion’s share of the market and is using it to consolidate its position as a leading global power.

Drawing on six years of research across a dozen countries, The Rare Metals War is a vital expose of the ticking time-bomb that lies beneath our new technological order.

Guillaume Pitron, who was born in 1980, is a French award-winning journalist and documentary-maker for France’s leading television channels. His work focuses on commodities and on the economic, political, and environmental issues associated with their use. The Rare Metals War is his first book and has been translated into eight languages. Guillaume Pitron holds a master’s degree in international law from the University of Georgetown (Washington, DC), and is a TEDx speaker.

Category:  Environmental Economics
ISBN:  9781912854264
Publisher:  Faber & Faber
On sale:  February 2021
List price:  R420 
Format:  Paperback
eBook ISBN 
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