Joe Rogan podcast guest explains ‘heart-wrenching’ source of electric vehicle, iPhone batteries in viral video

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A Harvard visiting professor and modern-day slavery activist exposed Congo’s “terrifying” cobalt mining industry in a recent episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which went viral. This video already has over 1 million views.

Siddharth Kala, author of “Cobalt Red: How Congolese Blood Powers Our Lives,” tells podcast host Joe Rogan that there is no such thing as “clean cobalt.” .

“It’s all marketing,” Kara said.

Kara tells Logan that the level of “suffering” of the Congolese people working in the cobalt mines is staggering.

Biden looks to countries with documented child labor problems for green energy mineral supply: ‘It sucks’

Podcast giant Joe Rogan responded to a guest's story of the cobalt mining industry on a recent episode.

Podcast giant Joe Rogan responded to a guest’s story of the cobalt mining industry on a recent episode.
(Joe Rogan Experience/Spotify)

When Logan was asked if there were cobalt mines in the Congo that did not rely on “child labor” or “slavery,” a visiting professor at Harvard University told him there were none.

“I have never seen one and have been to almost all of the major industrial cobalt mines in the country,” Kara said.

One of the reasons is that the demand for cobalt is very high. “Cobalt is present in all lithium secondary batteries manufactured worldwide today,” he explained.

As a result, Kara said, it’s hard to think of a technology that doesn’t rely on cobalt to function. “Every smartphone, every tablet, every laptop, and importantly, every electric car” needs minerals.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the poorest countries in the world.  (AP Photo/Clarice Busup)

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the poorest countries in the world. (AP Photo/Clarice Busup)

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“We cannot live without cobalt and three-quarters of our supply comes from Congo,” he added. “And they are mined under horrific, heartbreaking and dangerous conditions.”

But “by and large, the world doesn’t know what’s going on in Congo,” Kara said.

“I don’t think people realize how scary it is,” Logan agreed.

The Biden administration recently signed deals with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia to strengthen green energy supply chains, but the Democratic Republic of the Congo has documented problems with child labor.

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Cobalt initially “became popular because it was used in lithium-ion batteries to maximize charging and stability,” Kara explained. “Congo just so happens to sit on more cobalt than the rest of the planet combined,” he added.

Men working in a gold mine in Chuja, northeastern Congo.

A man works at a gold mine in Chuja, northeastern Congo, one of the areas where so-called “conflict minerals” are mined.
(AFP Photo/Lionel Healing)

As a result, Congo, a country of some 90 million people, has become the center of geopolitical conflicts over precious minerals. “Before anyone knew what was going on, [the] chinese government [and] Chinese mining companies have taken control of almost all the big mines, and locals have been forced out,” Kara said. The Congolese are then “forced”.

He continued, “They’re mining absolutely subhuman, gut-wrenching conditions for $1 a day, pumping cobalt into every phone, every tablet, and especially electric cars in their supply chain. .”

British rapper Zuby invited his nearly one million followers to watch the interview.

“This latest Joe Rogan Experience podcast is heavy,” he wrote. “If you have a smartphone or an electric car (100%), I highly recommend listening to it.”

Kara said some, if not all, of the world’s biggest technology and energy companies have been implicated in humanitarian crises.

“This is the bottom of the iPhone, Tesla and Samsung supply chain,” he declared.

Fox News’ Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report.


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