Will the electric car get the better of the Salar de Uyuni?

Une usine d'extraction de lithium dans la zone sud du désert de sel d'Uyuni.


Will the eros of sustainable development overpower the thanatos of capitalism? Nothing is less certain. To this day, there can be no electric car (and cell phone) without lithium. Lithium is present in large quantities in the bowels of the Salar de Uyuni. There are already many evaporation basins on the Salar. Rather photogenic, these basins, whose steel blue contrasts with the white of the rock salt, may eventually cover a large part of the Salar and destroy forever this unique environment. Yet Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and lithium appears as an opportunity for development. Is this the price to pay for globalization? Here again, the problem is not (that) Bolivian. It is a question of a global approach to development. Indeed, few Bolivians will have the opportunity to drive an electric or hybrid vehicle. The future of the Salar is being decided in Bolivian ministries as well as in the hushed salons of international organizations from Davos to Washington.



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