If you follow tech news, it’s pretty hard to miss stories reminding us of the tremendous potential that lithium-ion batteries have in store for the world – longer times to gaze into our dazzling new smartphones and longer distances to travel in our cutting-edge electric cars without a re-charge. And yet, most of us probably don’t think too much about the environmental cost of mining all of this lithium. In Australia and South America where 80-90 percent of the world’s raw lithium comes from, the extraction process is dirty and energy intensive. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Sammy Roth of the Los Angeles Times about the promise of extracting lithium in a much cleaner way right here in the US. We learn about plans to extract lithium from the Salton Sea geothermal fields in the Southern California desert, how this process will be viewed by environmentalists and what it could mean for the lithium industry.
With all the false claims about “fake news” and verifiable lies being proffered as facts by the president and others, it’s quite refreshing to be reminded that there is still some fantastic journalism taking place in this country. This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks to Desert Sun energy reporter Sammy Roth about his investigative piece on the Imperial Irrigation District (IID). Roth’s work exposed deep conflicts of interest at this district, tucked away in a remote section of southeastern California. We talk about the dramatic impact Roth’s reporting has had at IID, and more generally about how good journalism can be a force for rapid social change.