The Week in Stories Around the Globe

South America’s ‘lithium fields’ reveal the dark side of our electric future

Any type of resource extraction is harmful to the planet. This is because removing these raw materials can result in soil degradation, water shortages, biodiversity loss, damage to ecosystem functions and an increase in global warming.

But when we think of extraction, we think of fossil fuels like coal and gas. Unfortunately, lithium also falls under the same umbrella, despite paving the way for an electric future.. Lithium can be described as the non-renewable mineral that makes renewable energy possible – often touted as the next oil.

#renewableenergy #southamerica #climatechange #extractions

China’s pandemic Olympics begin, with lockdown and boycotts

A woman walks past a Beijing 2022 installation, near at the Main Press Center ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China January 23, 2022. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

The Olympics — and the opening ceremony — are always an exercise in performance for the host nation, a chance to showcase its culture, define its place in the world, flaunt its best side. That’s something China in particular has been consumed with for decades. But at this year’s Beijing Games, the gulf between performance and reality will be particularly jarring.

#China #winterolympics #COVID #Politics

Portugal general election: Socialists win surprise outright majority

Defying all odds, Portugal’s ruling centre-left Socialists won an outright parliamentary majority in Sunday’s snap general election, securing a strong new mandate for the prime minister, Antonio Costa.

#Elections2022 #portugal #socialist #europe

‘Right now’ doesn’t exist in the universe

This story about twin sisters could be the story of two galaxies if we multiply it by 155 million every year. The farthest known galaxy at this time is GN-z11, which could be considered our Iris, who sent “photos” of herself in every direction in the form of electromagnetic waves when the universe was around 400 million years old, just three percent of its current age. At that time she had a sister galaxy, perhaps a twin, Hera, which by today’s standards was not that far away. This other galaxy was in fact our own Milky Way, and it had a lifetime ahead of it.

#Science #physics #theuniverse #Time

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