Re: STEM question
"Lithium and rare earth mining is by no means environmentally friendly"
That's fairly fallacious.
Lithium is extracted from seawater or brine lakes (potash) in the same process that's used to make fertilizers and is fairly clean.
Rare earth mining is also clean. There's ONE problematic byproduct that's very slightly radioactive - Thorium - and that shouldn't actually BE a problem if you look up what thorium is and what it can be used for (Hint, if it was used correctly, they would be Thorium mines producing rare earths as a byproduct)
Lithium-ion batteries are 100% recyclable, so there's no excuse for throwing them away.
There are definitely issues associated with cobalt, but different chemistries don't need it and it can also be extracted from seawater at a slightly higher cost than current methods.