22 Février – axe Savoirs|SENS, Roopali Phadke

10 h site Sciences Po Bordeaux, salle Touchard

vendredi 22 février 2019 /// axe Savoirs| SENS, chaire Junior Pau (ES UPPA), Roopali Phadke, Mining Futures: Prospecting Critical Metals in the U.S. and Beyond

axe Savoirs/SENS, chaire Junior Pau (ES UPPA)

Roopali Phadke (professeure d’études environnementales à Macalester College)

Mining Futures: Prospecting Critical Metals in the U.S. and Beyond

The global conversation about mitigating climate change is now driven by an almost singular focus on deep decarbonization, or the electrification of everything. Many imagine our future lives as powered by stored electricity, derived from renewable sources. The grand challenges of the Anthropocene includes balancing our global dream to electrify everything with the brutal fact that clean energy technologies depend on metals mined using nearly medieval techniques.  

This presentation explores the future of mining for critical metals or “green tech metals” in a Trumpian U.S., as well as the global emergence of urban mining as an alternative to open pit and underground mining. Urban mining is defined as the recycling of materials from the technosphere: the buildings, industrial facilities, and consumer devices that make up our lives.  Urban mining constitutes an emergent epistemology. It is distinct from “virgin” mining in terms of the infrastructures, institutions, and instruments employed.  Urban mining also constitutes a form of disruptive innovation that shifts patterns of consumption and waste collection.

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