Thursday, July 25, 2024

The Obtain: The minerals powering our financial system, and Chinese language firms’ id disaster


It’s simple to persuade ourselves that we now reside in a dematerialized ethereal world, dominated by digital startups, synthetic intelligence, and monetary companies.

But there may be little proof that we now have decoupled our financial system from its churning starvation for assets. We’re nonetheless reliant on the merchandise of geological processes like coal and quartz, a mineral that’s a wealthy supply of the silicon used to construct pc chips, to energy our world.

Three latest books goal to reconnect readers with the bodily actuality that underpins the worldwide financial system. Each fills in darkish secrets and techniques in regards to the locations, processes, and lived realities that make the financial system tick, and divulges simply how tragic a toll the supplies we depend on take for people and the setting. Learn the total story.

—Matthew Ponsford

The story is from the present print challenge of MIT Expertise Evaluate, which is on the theme of Construct. In case you don’t already, subscribe now to obtain future copies as soon as they land.

In case you’re within the minerals powering our financial system, why not check out my colleague James Temple’s items about how a US city is being torn aside as communities conflict over plans to open a nickel mine—and the way that mine may unlock billions in EV subsidies.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to seek out you right this moment’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

1 Blacklisted Chinese language corporations are rebranding as American
In a bid to swerve the Biden administration’s crackdown on nationwide safety considerations. (WSJ $)+ The US has sanctioned three Chinese language nationals over their hyperlinks to a botnet. (Ars Technica)

2 Greater than half of vehicles bought final yr had been SUVs
The big automobiles are main contributors to the local weather disaster. (The Guardian)
+ Three ceaselessly requested questions on EVs, answered. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

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