Electric Mania

Electricity! It’s magical. It’s mystical. We’ve been obsessed with harnessing its power for thousands of years. As far back as 600 B.C. Thales of Miletus wrote how amber could be charged by rubbing it. In 1600, William Gilbert translated the Greek word amber to electricity.

On June 15, 1752, Benjamin Franklin promoted his theory that lightning was electrical by flying a kite during a lightning storm. Around this time, Michael Faraday discovered that moving a magnet inside a wire coil could generate electricity. From there, he built the first electric motor. He later built a generator and a transformer.

In 1733, not long before Franklin’s famous stunt, Charles Francois du Fay made the distinction between the two forms of electricity, which he called resinous (-) and vitreous (+). Benjamin Franklin and Ebenezer Kinnersley renamed them negative and positive.

The Chinese were well aware of this universal truth from at least the third century B.E., and probably much longer. They called it yin and yang. This concept is one of the foundational components upon which Taoism is built.

The yin and the yang, the push and the pull, the light and the dark, the dirty and the clean, the good and the evil—this is electricity. This seeming conflict has inspired artists and philosophers as well as mathematicians and scientists down through history. Yet, for the Taoist, neither was right or wrong. Both were equally important to maintain the balance of the universe.

The idea that electricity brought things alive was quite the fad in the 1800s. Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein was published in 1818, the same year that Andrew Ure performed a macabre demonstration in which an electric current running through a cadaver appeared to cause it to resume breathing and to point its fingers at the audience.

Alas, the mystery of life was not solved by a synthetic stimulation with electricity. Today, we are told that electricity will solve all of our pollution woes. Magically, wondrously, if we switch everything from fossil fuels to “renewable” energy, we can save mankind and the planet from destruction.

Of course, the opposite is true.

Rare-earth mine near Baiyun’ebo a mining town in Inner Mongolia, China. Getty Images

The Renewable Vs. Nonrenewable Fallacy

Let’s start with the fact that electricity is a secondary energy source, meaning that we must first use something else to ignite it.

That something else could be coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear power, or other natural sources. These are called primary sources. The energy sources we use to make electricity can be renewable (such as wind or solar) or nonrenewable, but electricity itself is neither renewable nor nonrenewable.

This distinction between renewable and nonrenewable is a fallacy as surely as it was a fallacy that electrical currents could bring a dead person back to life. How do we capture wind or solar energy? We must produce other things, like wind turbines and solar panels. Are these clean? No.

The dirty secret of wind energy and solar production is that the actual wind energy rotors and the solar panels are made of material that, at the end of its useful life, is literally ground up and put into a landfill. I’m going to talk mainly about wind turbines, but keep in mind that everything I say is also applicable to solar panels.

By 2030, the United States is expected to see as much as one million total tons of solar panel waste. By 2050, the United States is expected to have the second largest number of end-of-life panels in the world, with as many as an estimated 10 million total tons of panels. What is going to happen to all that waste, much of it toxic?

Wind turbines typically contain more than 8,000 different components. One such component are magnets made from neodymium and dysprosium; rare earth minerals mined almost exclusively in China. Extracting REs is an energy intensive and heavily polluting process, which makes a mockery of “clean energy” all by itself.

In 2020 it was estimated that a 11- to 26-fold expansion of RE supply is needed for meeting global wind-power targets. Mining one ton of rare earth minerals produces about one ton of radioactive waste, according to the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security. According to the Chinese Society for Rare Earths, “one ton of calcined rare earth ore generates 9,600 to 12,000 cubic meters (339,021 to 423,776 cubic feet) of waste gas containing dust concentrate, hydrofluoric acid, sulfur dioxide, and sulfuric acid, [and] approximately 75 cubic meters (2,649 cubic feet) of acidic wastewater.”

China still controls most of the RE market. Simon Parry from the Daily Mail traveled to Baotou, China, to see the mines, factories, and dumping grounds associated with China’s rare-earths industry. Here’s what he found:

As more factories sprang up, the banks grew higher, the lake grew larger and the stench and fumes grew more overwhelming. ‘It turned into a mountain that towered over us,’ says Mr Su. ‘Anything we planted just withered, then our animals started to sicken and die.’ People too began to suffer. Dalahai villagers say their teeth began to fall out, their hair turned white at unusually young ages, and they suffered from severe skin and respiratory diseases. Children were born with soft bones and cancer rates rocketed. Official studies carried out five years ago in Dalahai village confirmed there were unusually high rates of cancer along with high rates of osteoporosis and skin and respiratory diseases. The lake’s radiation levels are ten times higher than in the surrounding countryside, the studies found.

LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

Green, Sustainable Poison

What they tell us is “green” and “sustainable” is poisoning the earth. Those pushing the green agenda down our throats, shaming us into believing that we haven’t been doing our fair share, that we consume too much and need to cut back—they are the ones raping the earth with no intention of stopping.

We have been fed lie after lie. Always with the promise that the latest lie will fix the problems created by the last lie—but only if we are willing to sacrifice basic needs like heating and food, while at the same time buying all the useless products we are told we can’t live without.

Let’s talk about General Electric, a company that’s about as American as apple pie. A company that is now invested in everything from healthcare, to energy, to weapons.

GE was founded in 1889 by none other than Thomas Edison. We all learned about him in school, his genius and his marvelous inventions. What a success story! Edison’s success in large part was thanks to his appreciation of the power of the sell. If he wanted to capture the imaginations of buyers and get his inventions into every American home, he needed a symbiotic relationship with the media. As a result, he became one of the first media celebrities.

Edison’s Conquest of Mars was a novel by Garrett P. Serviss that was serialized in 1898 in William Randolph Hearst’s New York Evening Journal. In a timely fashion, it capitalized on the success of H.G. Wells’s War of the Worlds. The story portrayed Edison as a kind of superhero, where the fate of mankind’s future depended upon him and his inventions—sort of like Elon Musk today. The hype was successful, and Edison’s larger-than-life persona sold his inventions as well as copies of the newspaper.

GE introduced the first set of superchargers during World War I. Superchargers are devices that increase the pressure of the fuel-air mixture in an internal combustion engine, used in order to achieve greater efficiency. They became indispensable in the years immediately prior to World War II.

In 2002, GE acquired the wind power assets of Enron during its bankruptcy proceedings. Enron Wind was the only surviving U.S. manufacturer of large wind turbines at the time, and GE increased engineering and supplies for the Wind Division and doubled the annual sales to $1.2 billion in 2003.

In 1959, General Electric was accused of promoting the largest illegal cartel in the United States since the adoption of the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) in order to maintain artificially high prices. In total, 29 companies and 45 executives would be convicted.

On August 15, 2019, Harry Markopolos, a financial fraud investigator known for his discovery of a Ponzi Scheme run by Bernard Madoff, accused General Electric of being a “bigger fraud than Enron,” alleging $38 billion in accounting fraud.

Based on Political Economy Research Institute data from 2000, GE is listed as the fourth-largest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States, with more than 4.4 million pounds per year (2,000 tons) of toxic chemicals released into the air. According to EPA documents, only the United States government, Honeywell, and Chevron Corporation are responsible for producing more Superfund toxic waste sites.

American Wind Energy Association announced that GE became the top manufacturer of wind turbines in the U.S. in 2018, controlling 40 percent of U.S. wind turbine capacity installations. Engineers at the company are busy developing one of the world’s largest onshore wind turbines, the Cypress platform, which will boast a rotor diameter twice the length of a Boeing 747; just one of the machines will be able to power 5,000 European homes. In Holland, GE plans to start collecting data from a prototype of the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine, the Haliade-X, which will support the fast-growing offshore wind market in Europe, the United States, and Asia.

Mauro Ujetto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Most Powerful Greenhouse Gas Known to Man

Having all of this marvelous renewable energy is worthless if it can’t be delivered across the electrical grid. And here, at last, we get to the heart of matter. GE’s big idea is the “consolidation of its Grid Solutions business into GE Renewable Energy, which will make it easier to deliver green electrons into consumers’ homes.”

Renewable, they say? Just know that every time they use that word, they mean the opposite. Remember what I said about electricity being a secondary source and relying on other properties? There is a nice mix of toxins needed to build the grid and one of them is sulfur hexafluoride, or SF6—the most powerful greenhouse gas known to humanity.

We never hear about it. Why? Because the electrical grid connections cannot be expanded without SF6, a cheap, colorless and odorless, synthetic gas and they don’t want anyone knowing how truly unclean their clean energy is. SF6 makes a hugely effective insulating material for medium and high-voltage electrical installations. From large power stations to wind turbines to electrical substations in towns and cities, it is used across the industry to prevent electrical accidents and fires.

SF6 lasts in the environment for around 3,200 years. This means that nearly all the SF6 that has been released into the environment still exists. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, SF6 has a global warming potential 23,900 times that of CO2 over a 100-year period. Leaks of the gas in the UK and the rest of the EU in 2017 were the equivalent of putting an extra 1.3 million cars on the road. The global installed base of SF6 is expected to grow by 75 percent by 2030.

Here we must all pause for a moment and scratch our heads in perplexity. Wait, so we are supposed to replace gas-guzzling cars with this? Think about it. We are expanding the electrical grid, using the most powerful greenhouse gas to do it—not even a natural gas but a synthetic one. At the same time, they are telling the public that we are transitioning from fossil fuels to “renewable” energy. It’s enough to make your head explode.

But it gets worse.

General Electric recently announced a partnership to develop a supply chain of rare earth materials for EVs. Have they had an epiphany? Do they now understand that they must maintain the delicate balance, the yin and the yang of the universe? Are they going to miraculously find a better way to extract the materials and recycle them? Or are they going to continue being motivated by greed and power, as they have always been?

The greener and cleaner they promise to be, the greater the need to mine rare minerals like ytterbium, scandium, and neodymium. There is nothing green about this process that pollutes and destroys landscapes and poisons waterways. China has traditionally controlled at least 90 percent of rare earths and the West has conveniently taken what they had to offer, turning a blind eye to abuses. Now, it would seem that China wants to clean up its own environment while sending its dirty business into Myanmar. The problems never go away, they just get pushed around.

A six-month investigation by Global Witness followed the outsourcing of this highly toxic industry across the Chinese border into Myanmar. The mining process in this section of Myanmar involves injecting chemicals through holes drilled directly into mountain faces. Then, the chemicals liquefy the contents of the earth, making it easier to separate rare minerals. There are no regulations in place detailing how, where, and how much of the chemicals mining companies can inject. Not only this, but due to lack of proper containment, these chemicals are free to seep into the earth, causing extensive pollution and contaminating Myanmar’s water supply.

People living near the mines in Myanmar have already begun to experience symptoms, according to the 2018 survey of residents. “When the villagers cross the river, their legs begin to itch; if they have a wound, it becomes worse,” the survey found.

Residents told the survey that they no longer fished, swam, or washed in the local rivers, and that animals, including their livestock, had been poisoned by the toxic water.

This is particularly concerning because the mountains are richly biodiverse and are home to dozens of rare and endangered plant and animal species, including red pandas and gibbons.

“Now there are no birds or animals in the forests,” a community representative told Global Witness, in comments echoed by multiple other residents. “There are no more fish in the rivers,” said another. “The wild animals are gone.”

Crops grown near the mines are contaminated too, residents said, and the Chinese traders who previously bought black cardamoms, quinces, oranges, and walnuts now refuse to buy local products.

“Both the land and the people are ruined,” a community leader told us. “Local people who have been here since their ancestors’ time have become strangers in their own land.”

Many people are afraid of speaking out against the mining because they fear retribution. “No one wants to give up their ancestors’ lands, but if they [resist] they can be killed,” explained a Kachin civil society representative.

An article from the Wall Street Journal finds lithium-ion battery mining and production are worse for the climate than the production of fossil fuel vehicle batteries. According to scientists measuring cumulative energy demand (CED), production of the average lithium-ion battery uses three times more electrical energy compared to a generic battery.

But hey, it’s all good! Greta Thunberg can be proud of us—no need to say, “how dare you!” any longer. We listened to her diatribes and we’re making the adjustments. We can pat ourselves on the back knowing that we are doing our part to “save the planet” by transitioning to almost total dependence on electricity. Everything from cars to technological devices to heaters—and most importantly, to the grid that supplies it all—will be using “clean” energy.

Of course, because we are all so enlightened, we realize that we can’t leave the poor of the world behind. We must practice “equity.” Everyone must benefit equally from the grid. Everyone must be plugged in and turned on. 

The truth is, there is no such thing as renewable energy. The elites’ plan for utopia on earth while exploring distant planets will only succeed in destroying humanity. Perhaps this would be the best thing for the planet. It will renew itself. It will go on. But we will not.

We have always instinctively known this to be true. We have known it because the most basic and obvious laws of the universe tell us so. The yin and the yang, the balance between order and chaos. Synthetically altering everything and everyone so that a few psychotic billionaires can claim to be superheroes saving the planet makes for a great comic book series. But it’s a disaster of biblical proportions when it’s played out in the real world, right before our very eyes.

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About Karen Hunt

Karen Hunt aka KH Mezek is the daughter of Christian apologist Dave Hunt and the author/illustrator of 23 books and numerous essays. In the 1990s, she co-founded InsideOUT Writers, a creative writing program for incarcerated youth. She is a martial artist, full contact boxer and kickboxer and the founder of My World Project. Karen lived in communist Yugoslavia in the 1980s and was living in Luxor, Egypt when the COVID crisis began, where she started the first and only boxing club for girls. In June, 2020, Karen left Luxor under dangerous circumstances and returned to the United States, where she began writing about current events. Banned from Twitter, Karen stands for free speech, protecting our children, and exposing the lies of the media. You can find Karen’s writing at Break Free with Karen Hunt. Follow her on Twitter @breakfreekaren.

Photo: MARIANA SUAREZ/AFP via Getty Images