Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Mining

And just like that another ski holiday in the books. I always threaten that were I not entirely devoted to saving the planet I’d spend my days reviewing the top spas in the world… and I mean really work at it.  But this year I stayed behind a full three weeks to wend my way by train through Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and France.

Now I have to get back for the Queen’s Cup—and my clients. There’s not a chance I’ll go to my actual home in California this week… not with the mass invasion coming through, so it’s back to my childhood home in St. John’s Wood. As for California though, I don’t want to bring it up lest my father launch into another one of his—get out while you can speeches. He’s off California at the moment. Just prior to boarding I caught a television monitor showing migrants in the tens of thousands flooding into the U.S.  So scary. It was really not to be believed. Yet despite the horrific images, one feels so very bad for these souls—most of whom are escaping poverty brought on by climate change after all.

I had one glass of champagne, drifted off, and woke to the mad buzzings of my mobile. I swear the moment we crossed the Swiss border my phone started blowing up. Text after text from clients—and perhaps something to be said for the prosperity of the Swiss. And yes the timing was easily explained by proximity to a satellite tower but I felt the scold of their unwavering efficiency.

Icky smoke vs. clean wind power.

Truth is I didn’t have a solution for our problem and no amount of aromatherapied relaxation had brought any remedy.  There was a worldwide shortage of raw materials and we’ve brazenly promised "carbon neutral" by 2040. What had they been thinking? It wasn’t my idea but unfortunately I couldn’t solve this with a slick press launch and smiling glitterati. UGH!

Like a kid who imagines there just might be a sunken treasure near one’s country house I’d read up on how difficult the mining process was, hoping a layman’s take might find something previously overlooked. (Ever the Cheltenham girl.) What I found was that lithium doesn’t even occur naturally in its pure form.  It’s combined in small amounts in nearly all igneous rocks and in the waters of many mineral springs, so basically it’s everywhere but it’s a nightmare to extract it. Tedious and expensive and by some means you have to extract the lithium from the other things you just mined. Oh, and on top of that, it’s toxic, and dangerous. Why hadn’t we thought this through before we started shouting green promises from the rooftops?  

I also hoped that greed would solve this given it was being touted as ‘the next gold rush’ and ‘the new petroleum’ but it was time to admit defeat and call the geophysical engineer—my father. ‘Hi, Daddy!’ I said, trying to sound sunny and casual. ‘I’ve a small question…’

‘SELL!’ he bellowed,  ‘Burn the place down if you have to but get out of California!’

‘No, Daddy, I’m...’

‘Still on holiday?’ he interrupted.

‘No, on my way back to England, but thing is… well, it’s lithium. I just thought with your years in oil exploration you might have an idea’.

‘I do! Keep drilling for oil and drive a working car’, he said. Problem solved.

Now that's green.

I could feel the ozone facial escaping from every one of my pores. ‘DADDY!’ I shrieked, ‘I DON’T WORK FOR THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY!’’

‘No, indeed’ he said, ‘I do. And we’ve been backing you up since the dawn of Earth Day’. UGH! Sometimes I find it best to just let him say his peace so I remained calm and focused on the Rhone Alps in the distance.

‘So if you were me…’, I began again, ‘And you wanted to keep your job… what about if I go over to Nigeria, make a really big deal of it, show how we plan to set up a mine and also draw attention away from China who just beat Tesla out of a bid for a mine?’ 

‘Now there’s an idea’, he said.  ‘No one is really covering the situation over there. And by situation I mean heavily armed gangs and vigilante militias, lucrative mass kidnappings, murder in the thousands, and over a million have been forced out of their homes over land disputes… so sure, why not pop over and suggest what they might do with their land instead’.

‘But isn’t this trouble primarily caused by climate change?’ I asked.

‘Well, you can make that claim, just don’t do it around me. Corruption is the problem. It’s true the cattle herders have a harder go of things during the rainy season now that their villages were burned and they are forced to live in the forest. But, go ahead: blame the flooding. And then later blame the drought. And if I may remind you, aliens are invading your beloved California and claiming it’s "climate change", because apparently it stops at the U.S. border’.

I hate it when he has a point. ‘OK, point taken, but China’s making a go of it’, I said.

Can't get much greener than a lithium mine.

‘Depending on what happens with China,’ he said. ‘Mind you they couldn’t beat the Japanese even with the help of the Soviet Union, the U.K., and the Americans.  But at the present they’re not exactly hawking lithium’.

‘This is bad’. I said. ‘And bad on me’.

‘Well you didn’t make the carbon-neutral promise, and you’ll smooth it out somehow. What about your green friend who’s come up in the world recently?’ 

‘Who?’ I asked.

‘Charles’, he said.

‘KING Charles?’ 

‘Yes, the very one’.

Hmm. He had a point. And I’d likely see the sovereign at the Queen’s Cup. That’s the thing with Daddy, often irreverent. And sometimes right.

Nigerian Bishop to Irish Prez: Cut 'Climate Change' Blarney

Besides being the president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins is a published poet with a reputation among the literati for his facility with language. But that didn't stop him recently from really putting his foot in his mouth.

The occasion was his response to a deadly attack at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo, Nigeria, in which 40 Sunday Mass goers were killed and 87 wounded by Islamist militants armed with AK-47s. Higgins issued a statement lamenting the attack, adding that the violation of a place of worship "is a source of particular condemnation." But then his statement took a strange turn. Higgins further condemned "any attempt to scapegoat pastoral peoples who are among the foremost victims of the consequences of climate change." He continued,

The neglect of food security issues in Africa, for so long has brought us to a point of crisis that is now having internal and regional effects based on struggles, ways of life themselves. The solidarity of us all, as peoples of the world, is owed to all those impacted not only by this horrible event, but in the struggle by the most vulnerable, on whom the consequences of climate change have been inflicted.

Higgins' meaning is a little opaque, but the statement seems to imply that rising violence in Africa generally, and this incident in particular, is motivated on some level by "climate change" related food scarcity. That is certainly how it was read by Bishop Jude Ayodeji Arogundade, ordinary of the diocese of Ondo, the Nigerian state in which the attack took place.

Saying that he felt motivated to respond because of the historical ties between Ireland and his own diocese -- its first two bishops were from Ireland and the work of Irish missionaries in Nigeria is legendary—Bishop Arogundade released a statement of his own. “While thanking the Honorable Mr. Higgins," he said, "for joining others to condemn the attack and offering his sympathy to the victims, his reasons for this gruesome massacre are incorrect and far-fetched":

To suggest or make a connection between victims of terror and consequences of climate change is not only misleading but also exactly rubbing salt to the injuries of all who have suffered terrorism in Nigeria. The victims of terrorism are of another category to which nothing can be compared! It is very clear to anyone who has been closely following the events in Nigeria over the past years that the underpinning issues of terror attacks, banditry, and unabated onslaught in Nigeria and in the Sahel Region and climate change have nothing in common.

David Alton, a Liberal member of the British House of Lords and Human Rights campaigner issued an even more stern and condemnatory response to President Higgins, saying,

It is striking how quickly politicians and commentators trot out the same discredited banal narrative that the drivers for such carnage are climate change and lack of resources. They say that the causes are ‘complicated,’ with hardly a mention of the jihadist ideology that is behind the endless atrocities of ISIS and Boko Haram. And then they say that everyone suffers and there is a sort of equivalence with victims coming from varied religious backgrounds. They should tell that to the families whose loved ones are targeted, day in and day out, and see what sort of response they receive.

It is worth noting that President Higgins has subsequently denied that his intention was to link the attack to climate change. If that's the case, though, why did he mention it at all? The likeliest answer is that, as a dedicated but parochial leftist, he knows that acknowledging Islamist violence could get him accused of racism, but in the globalist circles he runs in, there's no wrong time to lament "climate change."