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Golden Hour Books

Power Metal: The Race for Resources that Will Shape the Future by Vince Beiser (11/19/24)

Power Metal: The Race for Resources that Will Shape the Future by Vince Beiser (11/19/24)

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The crucial role that rare metals play in technology and energy and the global race to secure them for the future.

An Australian multimillionaire's plan to mine the ocean floor. Garbage pickers in Ghana risking their lives to salvage e-waste at "the most polluted place on Earth." Tesla's former chief technology officer building a battery-recycling plant in the Nevada desert. These people are at the center of the increasingly important global competition to locate and mine the metals and minerals essential for two critical technologies that will shape humanity's future: the internet and renewable energy. It's a race that will create new industries, generate enormous wealth, and destabilize the global balance of power, and it could either propel us to a more sustainable future or plunge us into an environmental nightmare. In Power Metal, journalist and author Vince Beiser explores the Achilles' heel of the digital age: that the cell phones, electric cars, solar panels, and wind turbines being used around the world every day are made of an array of increasingly rare materials -- lithium, cobalt, niobium, and others -- whose demand is only increasing. And as many of the places they are extracted from will soon run dry, people in all corners of the globe are scrambling for new places and proposing new approaches to finding them. Beiser criss-crossed the world to track down the people who are at the vanguard of this new age to understand how they propose to solve this crisis, in the process showing us their ambitions and their potential dangers. The result is a book that is both a gripping read and a sobering account of the constant battle between what civilization needs and what it can withstand. Power Metal is a compelling and important glimpse into that new, disturbing, and exciting world.

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