Tag Archives: rare earth

Solar PV cells using rare elements unlikely to scale up enough to replace fossil fuels

[ Sunshine may be free, but the materials to make solar contraptions aren’t.   Since sunshine arrives in a diluted form (2500 kWh/m2), vast expanses of solar photovoltaic panels will be needed to produce the world’s 15 Terawatts of power that … Continue reading

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Rare Earth Hypothesis: Why intelligent life is rare in the Universe

Wiki has an article about the Rare Earth Hypothesis, which argues that the origin of life and the evolution of biological complexity such as sexually reproducing, multicellular organisms on Earth (and, subsequently, human intelligence) required an improbable combination of astrophysical … Continue reading

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China controls over 90% of rare earth mineral production

Michael Klare, in “The Race for what’s left” said the Chinese control up to 97% of the production of some of these minerals. Byron King in China’s Leg Up in the Rare Earths Market writes: “Basically, rare earths are exotic … Continue reading

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John Gribbin, Astrophysicist. If we destroy ourselves, a grave injustice to the universe

Below are a few paragraphs from Hirshfeld’s excellent book review of:    John Gribbin. 2011. Alone in the Universe: Why Our Planet Is Unique. Humans are a miracle of blood, bone, and brain, a volatile mixture of compassion and brutality … Continue reading

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