Salton Sea, Lithium, and Environmental Justice
Abstract: As the country replaces deteriorating and outdated infrastructure and adds new items like electric vehicle charging stations, it is worth keeping in mind that even “green” technologies have environmental and social impact. Few places better exhibit this than the Salton Sea - California’s biggest lake – and the location of what may become one of the world’s largest sites of lithium extraction for rechargeable batteries. How local leaders, industry representatives, and state officials navigate the lithium metal mining may be a lesson in what it looks like to increase electrical vehicle production, create jobs, and to do both while accounting for the health and well-being of those living and working alongside this production.
Teaching ideas: Pages 5-7 of this Current Context issue include a classroom activity as well as recommendations from a high school teacher with extensive experience in teaching for environmental justice.
Image: The Crusty Shore of the Salton Sea, Photos by Clark on Flickr