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Ernest Scheyder: The War Below

Ernest Scheyder: The War Below

Reuters senior critical minerals correspondent and bestselling author talks choices, supply chains, China, Trump, and more

Episode 47. [Yeah I can’t believe it either.] And we’re pulling out the big guns as we head towards a big milestone for Wicked Problems.

If 21st century energy journalism has a Daniel Yergin, it’s Ernest Scheyder, author of "The War Below" and senior correspondent at Reuters.

Recorded in a week the UK decided when it would hold an election and the energy politics of the US get hotter, we get into his choices about the book, the complex politics and economics of this world of critical minerals essential for the energy transition, the ethical and environmental dilemmas of mining, and the geopolitical implications of mineral supply chains.

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01:21 - 04:15 | Ernest's Background and Career Shift

  • Ernest discusses his career at Reuters, initially covering oil and gas, and his transition to focusing on critical minerals around 2018.

04:16 - 06:00 | The Idea of Choice in "The War Below"

  • Ernest explains the main argument of his book, emphasizing the choices society must make regarding where and how to mine critical minerals for the energy transition.

06:01 - 09:02 | The Rhyolite Ridge Lithium Project

  • Ernest shares a narrative from his book about the conflict between lithium mining and biodiversity at the Rhyolite Ridge project in Nevada.

09:03 - 14:25 | Supply Chain Transparency and Ethical Concerns

  • Discussion on the lack of transparency in supply chains, the ethical issues of artisanal mining in the DRC, and how the pandemic exposed supply chain vulnerabilities.

14:26 - 19:05 | China's Role in Critical Minerals

  • Ernest addresses China's strategic moves in the critical minerals market, its educational investments, and the implications for the West.

19:06 - 21:45 | Election Year and Policy Implications

  • Richard and Ernest discuss the potential impacts of the upcoming US election on the critical minerals industry and the broader policy environment.

21:46 - 24:20 | Consumer Behavior and Market Dynamics

  • Analysis of consumer preferences, cost considerations, and how domestic production of critical minerals could influence prices and supply chains.

24:21 - 27:00 | Geopolitical Risks and Copper

  • Ernest touches on the geopolitical risks associated with critical minerals, particularly copper, and how these could shape future conflicts.

27:01 - 34:00 | Technological Advancements and Market Trends

  • Examination of technological advancements in mining, the role of electric vehicles, and the evolving market trends for critical minerals.

34:01 - 36:45 | Catalysts: Influences on Ernest's Perspective

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Wicked Problems
Wicked Problems - Climate Tech Conversations (Subscriber Feed)
A show about climate tech - the intersection of people, politics, technology, and capital that will help shape the future. And whether you'd want to live in it.