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Spin, spin and more spin

December 26, 2023 — BarryK

I was browsing on YouTube today, and came across a video by MGUY, who claims to "put a realistic perspective on the mad dash to EVs". In this video, he shows the appalling conditions of child labor mining cobalt in Africa:

"The SHOCKING Human and Environmental Cost of EVs"

I am disappointed with MGUY. I have watched a couple of his other videos and found them to be quite good. Unfortunately, there is obvious spin in this video. MGUY must surely be aware of the spin. The commenters, though, these are the people he is targeting, and I don't expect balanced understanding from them.

Anyway, I read through the comments, and there are some with interesting information; contrary to MGUY's spin. And I found one guy who posted about EV batteries moving away from cobalt. I replied:

I sometimes watch "The Electric Viking". He is the opposite to MGUY, and unfortunately I find pro-EV spin in Electric Vikings videos. Though, in his case it is more a case of being overly-enthusiatic sometimes and not carefully checking before pumping out another video; I do continue to watch his videos.

Just to clarify, the word "spin" is an indirect form of telling lies, usually by omission.

Of course, this blog post is me expressing my opinions; they cannot be guaranteed to be correct, just what I understand at this point in time. So, having expressed that disclaimer, read on...

A further note about cobalt used in lithium batteries; these are what is known as "lithium ternary" batteries, or "NMC" -- meaning lithium battery that contains nickel, manganese and cobalt. LiFePo4, also known as "LFP" batteries -- meaning lithium, iron and phosphate, do not contain nickel, manganese or cobalt.

You can buy EVs with LFP batteries, it is a consumer choice. I have posted about the recumbent trike I recently purchased from China. Unfortunately, it came with a NMC battery. Not only do LFP not contain cobalt, they are safer (higher ignition temperature) and last for many more charge cycles.

So, I have purchased a 48V LFP battery for my trike. There was no choice when ordering the trike, I got the NMC type, but now I have a problem; how to dispose of it? There is no place locally where I can take it. Not that I know of anyway; there are two local places, Battery World and Supercheap, but they only take lead acid batteries.

Question: why hasn't our oh-so-pro-green government, State or Federal, provided, or legislated to provide, local dropoff points to recycle lithium batteries? Even better, verge pickup?

Another question: why hasn't our pro-green government legislated to allay our fears about EVs catching fire? As well as take a stand against child-labour mining cobalt in China? One very simple temporary solution: legislate a minimum ignition temperature, which will force all vendors of cars, trucks, ebikes, scooters, not to use NMC type.

I'm just throwing out some questions, that seem logical to me.

On so many of these YouTube channels, the popular ones employ clickbait and bias to attract people with certain beliefs. They will pander to these beliefs, conveniently ignoring any contrary facts.

It is not just YouTube; in the USA, you have right-wing media and left-wing media doing the same thing. Even if media outlets and companies tell lies and get fined, that doesn't stop them. I could name organizations, but probably better not.

It is not just the USA, it is worldwide. There is a huge propaganda war between China and the USA, both sides spreading misinformation about the other.

For example, US officials announced that the Chinese government is commiting genocide against some muslim minorities. This, coming from a country that carpet-bombed North Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, killing hundreds of thousands of people, sprayed Agent Orange over vast areas knowing how dangerous it is to humans. Bombed Bhagdad on the false premise of "weapons of mass destruction".  Turned a blind eye to vicious dictatorships that were on "their side". Now standing by while Israel forces kill thousands of civilians in Gaza. Sent cluster bombs to Ukraine.

I investigated that "genocide" claim in China. My  tentative conclusion is that it is not genocide. It is an emotive word, that causes a certain reaction in those hearing it -- which is why the word is used.

It is a more mild example, but we had emotive words being used by the Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) here in Australia, during the recent "The Voice" referendum. This was whether to change the Australian Constitution to formally recognise the indigenous people. I posted about this:

...on the day, I voted "NO".

The Federal Government was pro-Voice, especially our Prime Minister. The language used by the pro-Voice people was very insulting toward the "no" proponents. Many of those within the ABC, despite supposing to be impartial, would use words like "misinformation" and "racist" in reference to those promoting the No vote.

Actually, misinformation and racial bias was rife in those campaigning for the Yes vote, but that was never mentioned.

It used to be, years ago, that I believed that the ABC was an impartial source of information. No more. I have come to realise that there is a lot of filtered news. Anyway, I will continue to watch the ABC, as the less-evil news outlet.

Reading this post, you recognise that I am in a bit of a down-mood, different from my usual blog posts. In this mood, I am wanting to withdraw from everything -- don't know what form that will take, should I decide to action it -- maybe throw away the TV and go offline. Anyway, I'm getting toward the end of this life-span, which is actually a feeling of relief.  But then, I believe, and I have what I consider good reason to believe, that I will continue beyond death, so the event of death is not a worry for me, more of a freeing from a prison.


I came across something very interesting. Our Federal Government is considering legislation to fine companies that spread misinformation:

Sky News Australia and the The Australian newspaper, part of the Murdoch empire (as are most of the daily newspapers in Australia), are strongly opposed to it.   

Tags: ethos