This is just a snip about what rare earths are used for; Apologies I copied and pasted this from the USGS document.
Rare earth elements are important ingredients in high-strength magnets, metal alloys for batteries and light-weight structures, and phosphors. These are essential components for many current and emerging alternative energy technologies, such as electric vehicles, photo-voltaic cells, energy-efficient lighting, and wind power. Products containing rare earth elements also are used in a number of key defense applications.
Knew they would need them for weapons! You don't need weapons obviously, countries that mine the metals are completely polluted by the process. The Americans have banned mining for these rare earth metals on their own turf, but they are prepared to go mine them somewhere else.. .. .. How sweet is that of them?
Solution is recycling! don't throw away your old phones and stuff that has got rare earths in them, they will be worth a few bob soon. Lets see a lot more perfectly good stuff reclaimed from the waste stream.
How about actually offering to help the Chinese clear up their pollution problem? That would be a very nice gesture. Everyone makes mistakes! To think it is simply an earthwork wall stopping a breach into the Yangze River is unthinkable. Also the people living closeby are dying of poisoning. If this happened anywhere else in the world there would be a national outcry and these people would ge huge compensation. All they want is to be able to grow crops.
Oh, by the way if anyone is actually interested as to why there is a war in Afghanistan, it's because of significant rare earth deposits!
The Americans obviously know this!
Well I feel a bit better now, I hate feeling so bad about something.
I do miss my Dad, He was a genius. With the modern use of evacuated tubes and solar panels, it would have been fun to hook up a sterling engine to some batteries and convert the house to a DC/AC system.
My Dad was an Engineer, there wasn't much that he didn't know about making things work. If He didn't he soon found out. Pity us girls didn't get to do engineering when I was young. I think my Dad was worried I might have blown too many things up. I guess Hairdressing was a lot safer than most things to keep me occupied with.
We could have probably got loads of cranky ideas off the ground working together.
Anyway it's a Rainbow day here today with lots of Sunny Showers, so I think I will keep my camera