Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Rare Earth Elements ~ The Secret Ingredients of Everything" By Tim Folger (Photos by Nick Mann for National Geographic Magazine) - and - "4 Rare Earth Elements That Will Only Get More Important" by Maggie Koerth-Baker (Popular Mechanics) - and - Indigenous People's "Idle No More" Protesting Environmental Greed At Everyone's Expense

National Geographic Article: Rare earth elements are essential in many hi-tech innovations like hybrid cars and wind turbines. The battery in a single Toyota Prius contains more than 20 pounds of the rare earth element lanthanum; the magnet in a large wind turbine may contain 500 pounds or more of neodymium. U.S. military uses rare earths for night-vision goggles, cruise missiles and more.

 "They're all around you," says Karl Gschneidner, a senior metallurgist with the Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, who has studied rare earth elements for more than 50 years. "The phosphors in your TV—the red color comes from an element called europium. The catalytic converter on your exhaust system contains cerium and lanthanum. They're hidden unless you know about them, so most people never worried about them as long as they could keep buying them." 

4 Rare Earth Elements That Will Only Get More Important by Maggie Koerth-Baker for Populate Mechanics

Lithium is lionized. Silicon has a whole valley named after it. But what about the silent heroes of modern technology? Rare earth elements—a set of 17 related metals, mostly shunted off to a tacked-on lower line of the periodic table—are crucial to the way we live now; responsible for miniaturizing computers and headphones, powering hybrid cars and more. The time has come to get better acquainted with the molecules that make our modern world run.

Mining Feeds: Canada aboriginal movement poses new threat to miners ~ Idle No More : An aboriginal protest movement that's often compared with Occupy Wall Street has the potential to disrupt mining projects across Canada, threatening to undermine the country's coveted reputation for low-risk resource development.  

What is the "Idle No More" Indigenous movement in Canada all about.

- Space mining video (April 2013)

Mother Jones article about health issues of human mining extraction of REE