This is not a new story by any means — we covered it ourselves a year ago — but it’s one that’s never really gotten traction. Hopefully that changes soon as it’s freaking disgusting what companies are doing to earn a “green” label:

CNN writes that companies can’t prove if the cobalt they use is being mined by children, but that doesn’t seem to bother them, or U.S. “green” consumers:

This links to a multimedia presentation that highlights what’s going on, including this child getting smacked by an official while carrying a bag of cobalt:

Cobalt is important as it’s at the heart of the electric car market: “Who rules cobalt commands the value chain; who rules the value chain commands the electric car market; who rules the electric car market commands the world.”

Keep that photo above in mind the next time you hear someone telling you how awesome their “green” car is for the planet:

Or anything else with a lithium-ion battery in it, for that matter:

We should note that Elon Musk and Tesla do not buy cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo. From InsideEVs:

That said, Tesla was spared: “the company [Tesla] is not named in the report because its main battery cell supplier, Panasonic, sources its cobalt from the Philippines and not Congo.”

Now, it appears (via Bloomberg) that Tesla also has access to cobalt in Canada. “Call it a cobalt rush in Cobalt… both the town and the metal, are attracting renewed attention as a buffer to rising political risks in the Democratic Republic of Congo”

Wake up, world because this can’t continue.