While global warming is a topic of conversation and news coverage every day around the world, the basic raw materials that drive the global economy are rarely discussed as being involved. But these materials play a key role in global environmental issues.
Where do plastics come from? How is paint made? How do simple electronics, like land line telephones, come to be? How does the electric grid itself come to be? And in a world that is being wracked by warming, how do these basic industrial technologies impact the climate?
A series of recently released studies make it clear that wind power is not going to save us—not from global warming, not from high extinction rates, and not from the system of high-energy-consumption industrial exploitation that is killing the planet.
Let’s start with the most damning findings: even the most large-scale shift to wind power cannot slow greenhouse gas emissions enough to have any positive effect on the climate, although it may manage to make things worse. Why?