follow the lithium dreams expedition to chile and bolivia - the best charcoal bbq grill to buy
By Hal Hodson of Chile and Bolivia, welcome to the New Scientist's report on the lithium dream, an expedition managed by unknown fields of the nomadic research studio.
Hal Hodson, an American technical reporter for The New Scientist, will cover the expedition on this page, supported by gilid Amit in London and Aviva ruutkin in Boston.
Over the next three weeks, we will follow the expedition from the deepest jungle in Bolivia to the roof of the world in Chile's Andes.
We will kayak into the Amazon, learn about life in the rainforest, and then tie our bags to a fleet of 4 x 4S and escort to Potosi, his mineral wealth made it the richest city in the world during the Spanish Empire.
We will also travel to the world's largest salt flats to investigate the new fate of these geological anomalies.
Our goal is to understand that a region will play a vital role in the global economy, thanks to the unique and rich lithium minerals here.
This is our lightest metal and the main material for the battery in the world's 2 billion pockets.
We will climb and camp next to some of the least friendly mining operations on Earth.
These explorations are linked by a common theme.
Wherever we go, industry and science conflict with the environment and the way people live.
Who wins and loses when this happens?
What is the technological commitment behind development?
Should these regions play a role in improving the world?
This morning, I came to La Paz, the world's tallest capital.
The air on you is very light.
I got a little light on the top of the jet bridge, and when I got to immigration, I consciously put myself together.
I tell myself, think about breathing.
Bolivia and other locals in the Andes do not have to consider breathing at high altitude as they have evolved to cope with it.
On average, each hemoglobin cell in their blood carries more oxygen than people living at low altitudes.
However, even if the Anshan people spend some time in the low altitude area, their hemoglobin cells still maintain a higher oxygen capacity.
Living in higher altitude Tibetans, in just 3000, they evolved their own traits to cope with altitude, which is the fastest case of human evolution known.
Tibetans no longer rely on hemoglobin carrying more oxygen, as the Anshan people do, but simply adapt to breathing faster.
When I type, my breathing is faster than normal, but after a week at this height, as my body produces more hemoglobin to help me carry oxygen,
By contrast, the breathing rate of Tibetans has continued to rise.
These rapidly evolving differences are most likely due to the danger of giving birth at high altitudes without this adaptation, as the modern anshanites, Tibetans, and estbia are in this
The main road to La Paz revolves around a bowl of mountains that embrace the city, passing down from the lips through the residential area.
These houses reach the peak with dense lumps, all of which are the same pink and flow with the outline of the landscape.
Other unknown field teams will arrive here on Thursday morning from Santiago, Chile, and the expedition will officially begin today.
I was supposed to be with them, but missed the connection in Miami, meaning I ended up choosing to fly straight to La Paz.
Due to Sky traffic jams on the east coast of the United States, American Airlines missed the connection window.
This forced us to take a longer route and needed more fuel than planned.
We sat on the tarmac in Boston for hours waiting for an oil tanker.
Those sky jams, mostly hidden in our daily lives, almost left me on this trip, exactly the interaction between the human and the technology that we will be looking for on this trip.
Tomorrow, we will go to the jungle to find more.
It is impossible to escape the geological environment of La Paz.
The rocks under your feet are folded up four kilometers above the sea.
The city moves 1 cm into space every year and is forced to rise by the NASCAR plate as it dives into Earth's magma.
La Paz is located on the vast plains of the Andes. The Plateau should be dead ground.
Instead, the city covers the slopes and ridges of the jokiyap River Canyon. The million-
Strong suburban city in El Alto (pictured)
Located on the edge of the canyon, half a kilometer, in La Paz (under the smog).
The slopes narrow the streets and crowded traffic.
Crowded minivans run through crowds of pedestrians, a rider lounging outside the open door, chanting over and over for a destinationsong.
Our own minivan takes us through the southeast of the city, along the bottom of the Canyon, to the Bolivian Geological Society.
President Osvaldo Alce stood in front of the map.
His hips are made up of long and alternating lines of pink, gray and yellow, and different rock bands extend across the country.
Together, the band formed a bowl of mountains.
At the bottom of that bowl, half of the lithium is on Earth, in Saari, Uyuni.
Arce explained that Bolivia's lithium was extracted from the ground cover and vomited as one of countless chemicals in the lava that erupted 15 million years ago.
The melted rock, once a solid of the NASCAR plate, pushed Bolivia into the sky.
In the past few hundred years, huge lakes have been formed on the basis of volcanic materials.
They gather in a basin formed by folds of the Andes and hollow shells of volcanic collapse, and then die for a long time.
Water begins to dissolve lithium from the rock.
Nowhere to go, the lake slowly evaporates, leaving an increasingly concentrated solution of lithium.
Nowadays, the British people who hide under the skin of solid salt, which is several meters thick, are the prizes.
There are two things that prevent Bolivia from digging for wealth under its feet-politics and impurities.
Over and over again, since the discovery of a large amount of lithium reserves in Uyuni, foreign companies and governments have shown good to Bolivia, providing knowledge and technology in exchange for a share of the metal treasure.
But they were all rejected either because they asked for too much potential wealth or because they refused to share with Bolivia the technology they planned to use for mining.
Even if it is politically beneficial to the mining industry, the lithium of Uyuni has changed.
In the same eruption of the Sarra River, a large amount of magnesium and sulfur appeared.
These elements were also extracted from the rocks by ancient lakes and found with lithium in the British of Uyuni.
Both require complex chemical engineering to be removed, which increases the cost of mining in a poor country determined to do it all by itself.
At the end of Thursday, the last climb from La Paz Canyon arrived at El Alto airport.
A minivan broke down on the road and stuck us on the side of the main road.
Our driver tried to flip the engine by having it roll down in oncoming traffic.
It didn't work, but we were rescued by an empty van family who took us the rest of the way.
We boarded the plane to Cochabamba, the last big city before Amazon, where we will evaluate before melting into the jungle.
The warm sunshine and heavy air of Cochabamba make La Paz breath-taking.
We were in CEDIB downtown this morning (
E information center Bolivia)
Study the road at least after preliminary inspection.
National parks and indigenous territories (TIPNIS)
Located in the heart of Bolivia, deep in the Amazon, downhill from the high plains of La Paz.
The proposed road will go directly through the territory and connect the rest of Bolivia.
It promises to promote markets for coca leaf, wood, oil and gas.
But the people who live in tipnice are not excited about this catalytic effect, and their livelihood revolves around rivers and forests.
These communities are gathered in a group called La Sub Central TIPNIS who are struggling with infrastructure and from their point of view infrastructure will only ruin their way of life and not
The country's defense of the road is a story of redemption, CEDIB said.
The company says it has long ignored tipnice and it's time to make up for it with new infrastructure and new developments.
The road, they say, will help the tipnice people get to the hospital faster.
Fernando Marchio of CEDIB said it was not far from the truth.
He was referring to the main cities in the area and said: "It is longer to get to the road than to get to Trinidad . ".
Traveling along the river is the norm in tipinis and many other jungle areas around Bolivia.
Roads are troublesome, difficult to maintain and expensive.
Georgina Jimenez of CEDIB says the government narrative misses a key fact-the people of La Sub Central TIPNIS do a good job on their own.
It feels like the government has imposed its own control system on the resources that have already maintained the existing population.
Jimenez is worried that water will flow out of the pipe at cost price, rather than taking water from the river for free.
"Rivers are the blood of these communities and their path," said Georgina Jimenez of CEDIB . ".
"It's not development for us, it's death.
"The road is just the latest invasion of the residents of tipenis.
Since the age of 80, farmers have been migrating to the land, destroying the forest for livestock and coca.
Some communities have accepted new ways of life to some extent.
Jimenis said that some communities in tipenis have already felt the impact of business expansion.
People living in the southeast corner of the reserve are forced to share their land with coca farmers, a road that has been pushed into their territory.
"They lost supermarkets, jungle and pharmacy," Jimenez said . ".
She and others are worried that if the road is built, the rest of the community in tipenis will face the same fate.
Much of the funding and motivation for the road comes from Brazil, which has funded its development and construction.
On the biggest scale, the people of La Sub Central face not only the governments of their countries, but also the economic strength of Brazil, one of the world's largest economies.
North of tipiñez, just off the border with Brazil, is a grim warning for the future.
Soybean fields replace the rainforest, a countrysized grey-
Yellow scars in satellite images.
Brazil has a deep appeal to tipenis-its state-owned oil company Petrobras has already owned mining rights to the most precious large forests of La Sub.
Jimenez is worried that oil companies will flock to the road once it is ready.
Our group flew to Trinidad this afternoon.
There we will board a boat and take us to the center of tipnice overnight and jump down along Marmore in Rio.
We need a 24-hour journey.
On 2011, residents of tipnice walked to La Paz to protest the road.
It took them two months.
The river runs against our south, flowing under the bow in the muddy whirlpool.
On Friday the 24 th, we set out from Trinidad and packed ourselves on the platform of the barge, being pushed to the water by the constant bumps of the outboard motor.
Tents, papaya, pineapple and drones are on board.
Our guide will take us to the Nueva Lasia indigenous community located in tipenis.
Emilio Noosa, president of regional group La Sub Central, has let us in and accompanied us upstream.
We are the first large group to visit the community in more than a decade.
We slept on the boat as the boat advanced overnight and 22 people and their bags were placed in two flat areas the size of the table tennis table.
When the driving is slow, the little motor will float the smoke over us.
The first night was the human construction class.
The legs are subverted and layered in the tangled body, competing for space.
Straight stretching is impossible.
Sleep is short.
Our pilot navigate under the lights of the LED flashlight.
We touch the ground from time to time and stick in the mud until we turn around.
The ship must be released on bail frequently.
The coming and coming of the Sun dominates the time on the river.
In our group, it features two things: the clicking of the camera blinds and the thick and itchy buzzing of mosquitoes.
Whenever the sun crosses the horizon, melts to the flat part of the river, or rises from debris in the trees on the bank of the river, the sky is red.
We carry three photographic drones, and every once in a while we pull in and watch a drone drop from the sky and enter Amazon from above.
During the day and night between sunling, time flows unpredictably.
They sit on their backpacks and sometimes get together to chat and sometimes silence.
Then the rattle of the motor and the influx of water took over the whole process, and the time was extended.
This is in sharp contrast to the rush of the past few days.
We waited for nothing for the first time and ran for nothing.
For the next 20 hours and one night we will be on board.
Animal sightings broke the trance of time. “Dolphins!
"Cried, and all eyes turned to the river, where two strange pink forms turned over in the water.
Legend has it that there is a woman's body on the front of the pink river dolphin.
They rolled in front of our ship for a while and then swam far away.
As soon as we swept over, capibaras scrambled to climb the bank.
A little Kaimen basked in the sun on the mud.
Morcor Bob and dive fishing, then stand on the shore and spread their wings to dry for the next run.
All our organic trash was thrown into the river from the moving ship.
Oranges are the most interesting.
Our owner peeled off the crust, left a thick crust, and then cut off the top like a boiled egg.
Extract juice and pulp by pressing and sucking.
The boat sticks to the inside of the curve on the way upstream, risking shallow water to avoid the rapid flow of the outside.
The sun is rising all day, and it becomes dazzling in the afternoon.
Soft and cool in the morning, and cold in the evening, if we didn't sleep like sardines, we would have trouble.
We often come across tree trunks that look strange in the water, just like someone shaking them underwater.
Banks are eroded and they resonate with the trend in time.
Some, the right length at the speed of the river, vibrates at the perfect time.
Fast, fat butterflies zip up in front of the boat from time to time, flashing us in blue and yellow.
We arrived on Sunday at three o'clock P. M. in the afternoon.
It took us 42 hours to spend two nights on a moving, open boat and a lot of mosquito bites.
Now we will meet with those who dare to face Bolivia's thirst for natural resources.
After 42 hours of sailing, we came to the Nueva latch community.
There are six families living by the river. they live in wooden houses with stone floors.
They and the rest of tipnice are facing the strength of the government of Bolivia.
Here the boat is just an important part of life-five canoes moored on the river bank next to the village.
When we arrived and got off the boat, a group of villagers immediately got on the bus and sat laughing.
Chickens, pigs, dogs and horses wander between houses.
The fat ducks moved slowly, and the boxes guided them in the heavy van.
The river looks fast.
When you jump in from a parked canoe, it will call you down.
When I was swept past, I had to grab the last gun of the ship, just to avoid being washed back to Trinidad.
Nueva Lacea is located in an open space surrounded by dense forests.
Early Monday morning we trek through it to the lagoon.
The ants climbed up our legs and bit us, while our guide took the road with a machete and cut back into the forest.
Green Parrot wheels on top of the head.
The footprints of the pig go through the path every once in a while, often followed by the paw prints of the big cat (
Tiger Cat and Jaguar)
The locals call it "tigre ".
After two hours of hiking, we launched the forest in a lagoon.
When a caiman heard our arrival, he plowed in the weeds under the water.
The Kingfisher crossed the water.
The village is here to fish.
Once we have the direction, the life of Nueva Lacea will be very familiar.
The bathroom is located on the edge of the open space near the forest, a pit covered by a wooden batten with holes.
There is a medical room, a school room, a vegetable garden.
Almost everyone has a smartphone-one of the women uses her phone to show us her favorite music video (pre-
Download of course-no community service).
We set up a tent on the football field by the goal under the tree.
The water was towed from the river and then pushed by a filter device donated by a regional politician.
The bucket was pasted with his slogan and face sticker.
The charcoal filter cartridge comes from Trinidad.
The forest is not the only source of food for tipnice people.
Adults often travel by boat to spend the night in Trinidad, the nearest city (
It's downstream, so go faster).
They work as cleaners or construction workers and bring money back to the community.
In addition to the filters, the village also has hard plastic cutlery and modern clothing, sugar and many other items shipped by boat from Trinidad.
They burn rubbish.
While they do use natural medicines in the forest, they also have a box full of modern medicines.
The people of Nueva Lacea are under three major threats, two of which they are actively fighting.
The San andonio and Giro dams, 1,000 kilometers north, were built in 2008 to provide electricity to the province of Rondonia.
Our pilot Jose said the recent floods were much higher than usual, three metres above the river water level, and the dam was at least partly the reason: "hunting has become more difficult due to less animals.
They were all killed in the last flood.
"Climate change can also be the culprit, as rainfall patterns have changed with climate warming, increased and increased rainfall in the region.
But even if the dam has been affected, there is nothing that the people of tipenis can do.
Since climate change does not have much carbon footprint to cut, climate change is even beyond their control (
In fact, it helps to protect a huge carbon sink in tipnice).
Instead, they focus on more immediate threats.
At about 100 kilometers southeast, the top of Highway 24 has reached the timenis area controlled by coca farmers.
Tipnice does not want the road to go further and promote development without giving them any benefits.
The biggest concern is the development of oil and gas.
In last June, the government of Bolivia opened up the most primitive forests of tipiños to oil and gas exploitation.
Foreign Petrochemical companies operating in partnership with Bolivia's state-owned oil company YPFB are free to explore tipinis.
A modern completed highway will help them do this.
In the end, every question about the life of the tipians returned to this fight against the government of Bolivia, known as the "struggle.
Every village chief and Elder we talked to said, "What do you want to do for the future ? " There is the same answer to this question.
"Continue to struggle ".
One of our guides Youcy Fabricano did have plans to win the fight.
"This way of living in harmony with the environment is what I want to export," he said . ".
"Our life in tipenis is happy.
"I want to attend events and meetings," Youcy told me . ".
"I will talk about our non-culture. violence.
I see that the big society in our lives needs a culture of peace.
"That's why we say we have a lot of value in our lives and we want to live with the outside world.
"The tipnice and their way of life are the last line of defense in the vast area of the virgin forest.
The needs of Bolivia and the global community are pressing on them in every way, forcing them to live a "normal" life, move to cities, and give up their homes on the basis of precious natural resources.
We should hope that the tipnice people will be brave enough to face the ambitions of Bolivia's petrochemical industry.
Their resistance is the last friction to prevent massive destruction of the Amazon forest.
If the world wants to keep its lungs, it should support tipnice.
When our ship ran aground, we woke up bumping at five o'clock A. M.
We're from Amazon overnight (
It took two hours to drive into the creek).
After a flight and 21 hours, we will climb up the bed in Uyuni, a town on the edge of the largest lithium mine bed on Earth.
Boat> bus> plane> 4x 4S to noon. Twenty-
Two of us piled up into four 4x 4S in the parking lot at Cochabamba airport and then started rolling along the Andes towards Uyuni.
There was a layer of dust on the road.
It sneaked into the car and blocked our nose.
Our driver grabbed the tail of the bus and truck on the uphill and was ready to overtake.
We walked through salar's apartment in the convoy, four 4x4 s with 26 people.
This is the vomit of the volcano under the wheel, dissolved and condensed into a dead plane for thousands of years.
Uyouni is scum in the Andean rock bathtub.
Scum is beautiful and valuable.
25 million years ago, when the volcano sprayed the Earth's internal organs onto the surface, lithium followed.
It began to rain about 24 million years later.
Because Sal was a natural basin with no drainage channels, it was quickly filled.
Form a huge mountain range stretching the whole North
Length of southern Bolivia.
Water extracts lithium and other elements from volcanic vomit to make a soup that slowly evaporates into the salt flats we are exploring.
When we explore Sara, the village of koksa is our base camp for three days.
It is located under the tuupa volcano, in the far north of the apartment.
We walked to the crater the next day.
When we climbed, the sun retreated to the back of the slope.
Suddenly, we stepped into the shadow and the temperature plummeted. We push on.
We want to see the sun again, but it is faster than we reach the peak.
Carli and I walked to the sun from the path on the left hand side of the valley.
High pain (
About 4500 above sea level).
We park every 10 metres.
I finally stumbled over the basket and came to the sun.
My skin is drinking under the lights.
The northwest of Sal was set before us by a golden fire.
We sat and took our breath.
This is a photo of Llipi, Bolivia's first lithium production plant, taken by a drone.
It is based on Salar De Uyuni, the world's largest lithium deposit, which has about 50% of the available resources on Earth.
We visited the factory on Sunday.
22 of us are wearing official premium clothing and helmets from the Bolivian mineral resources department, COMIBOL.
We were guided through the chemical lab in the factory to where we could not take pictures.
The plant extracts lithium, potassium and other minerals from salt water under salar and pumps into a wide evaporation pool.
The day before, in the apartment, I put my arm into a tea tray --
A hole in the size of the salt skin, in the salt water until the elbow.
My arm came out with a white coat with the salt of the elements the Llipi plant wanted.
The other night, as an entry point for us to visit the Atacama lithium mine, we hired a lawyer --
Anthropologist Alonso Baros has dinner at our guest house.
Three boys-Dave, Australian dancer, philosopher Austin and artist Nick (both from USA)
-Take over the kitchen and roll out delicious salads and grilled vegetables. Carlye (
California, working with Nick on the production of plutonium
One of our drivers, Roberto, is in charge of the grill, cooking chicken for 27 people.
This is an unprecedented feast.