Less oil, less debt...so what's our next addiction?

One environmental organization thinks it could be the rare earth elements needed to make high tech devices from batteries to LEDs. From MRI scanners to catalytic converters.

One environmental organization thinks it could be the rare earth elements needed to make high tech devices from batteries to LEDs. From MRI scanners to catalytic converters. Here's NRDC's look at the source of these materials and the environmental cost of exploiting them. Bet you can guess which mega-economy uses the most of these...and which had the most direct control of the sources. Right: US...and China. This article posits China is the OPEC of rare earths. SO WHAT? Well, a hyrbid Prius has abvout 25 pounds of rare earth elements, in each car. And some industrial sized wind generation plants are dependent on neodymium. Bet you don't have any of that on the shelf in the workshop.

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