Alexander Dunlap / Weston Roundtable (Oct. 27, 2022)
This lecture explores the mining and raw material extraction necessary behind wind, solar and other lower-carbon technologies. Dunlap will review the material requirements behind wind and solar infrastructures, followed by examining the reality of the mining, mineral processing and manufacturing process. He will discuss the realities behind mining, such as political contestations, human rights violations and the toxification of environments. This lecture will also discuss trends towards the digitalizing of mining and efforts at "green" mining.
Additionally, Dunlap will examine overlooked methodological issues that are gaining attention, such as underestimations and exclusion of quantitative data, modeling studies and the authority granted to modeling research by public policy. This lecture lays out a series of under examined issues instrumental to understanding the extractive costs of a green energy transition.
The Weston Roundtable is made possible by a generous donation from Roy F. Weston, a highly accomplished UW-Madison alumnus. Designed to promote a robust understanding of sustainability science, engineering, and policy, these interactive lectures are co-sponsored by the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE), the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Office of Sustainability.