I appreciated Sarah Augustine’s column, “Individual choices, collective duties” (Dec. 22), on so-called “clean” energy, electric vehicles, increases in lithium mining needed to support them and justice issues of mining on Indigenous lands. She states what few care to admit: “clean” energy is not clean nor sustainable, and in its pursuit one set of environmental degradations will be exchanged for another. The demand for lithium (and other critical minerals) will be even greater than Augustine cites, because batteries are also needed as storage devices for solar and wind energy. The Indigenous wisdom from the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony quoted in the article states the truth clearly: The only true solution to the environmental crisis is to scale down our consumption and live more localized lives. Technological solutions alone will not achieve what needs to be done, because the problem is behavioral, cultural and spiritual. Thank you, Sarah, for your insight into the reality of “clean” energy.
David C. Garen, Portland, Ore.