Lithium, the lightest metal on earth, is a key element in the effort to combat climate change. Since lithium ion batteries are far lighter than other batteries and hold a charge for much longer, they are an important component of solar and wind energy systems, storing energy for times when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind isn’t blowing. But while lithium is a key to our renewable future, it is also a mineral that must be mined. And that can cause a whole slew of environmental problems.
On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Klamath-Modoc artist and activist Ka’ila Farrell-Smith and Hoopa Valley tribal member Thomas Joseph about a controversial lithium mine proposed along the Oregon/Nevada border, near the Fort McDermitt Paiute Shoshone Tribe’s reservation.