Rich Rocks, the Climate Crisis, and the Tech Imperium

A series organised by the Research Institute for the History of Science and Technology (RIHST) at Caltech and The Huntington

The decarbonisation of the global economy in response to the climate crisis has triggered a race to secure uninterrupted access to critical raw minerals (CRMs), crucial for high-technology applications. Access to these essential resources has become a strategic security question.

Geopolitical realignments are quickly turning the technology race into a battle over who will lead the tech imperium, with industry actors and businesses that rely on CRMs caught in the middle.

In this four-part series, experts consider the definitions of material criticality and the transformation that saw these simple inputs become materials of strategic and economic importance worthy of front-page news. They focus on the government, industry, and finance nexus in light of the push to reconstitute supply chains, decouple from China and develop and deploy new technologies and the socio-economic and environmental impacts of mining and processing these important minerals, which are mostly concentrated in the developing world.

Watch above or click here to find out more.