Rare Earth Elements
Rolf Sudmann (Germany)
A high security crop of 17 mobile telephones with Esperantic wisdom
Futuristic sounds and mottos in Esperanto emanate from the high security crop before you when the telephone numbers of their corresponding Rare Earth Element are dialed. Esperanto (“one who hopes”) was created to be a universal language motivating harmony between people and is allegedly the most widely spoken language in the world. Like Esperanto, the heavy reliance on technology to solve our current sustainability dilemma is also a utopian ideal.
Rare Earth Elements are a group of 17 elements, whose special magnetic, phosphorescent, and catalytic properties are central to technological advances in x-ray devices, aircrafts, and lasers to green technologies such as wind turbines and electric cars. Nine different rare elements can be found in a smartphone alone, used for the color screen, the phone’s circuitry, the speakers, and the vibration unit.
Technically speaking, rare earth elements are not rare at all, but rather they are diffuse and not easily extracted from the earth. The environmental impacts of the extraction process are high, due to large amounts of toxic waste products including radioactivity.
China is currently the world’s leading producer and consumer of Rare Earth Elements, responsible for 95% of production in 2010. A monopoly on precious resources generates geo-political power.
- Scandium – Prenu biciclon (Take a bicycle)
- Yttrium – Visitu Resarö- (Visit Resarö /an island in Sweden where a rare earth element was first discovered)
- Lanta – Ho, Sir John
- Cer- Estu lumo- (Behold! Light!)
- Praeesodym- Verdo povas esti problemo- (Green can be a problem)
- Neodym- Cu vi ankan estis amiko de vento?- ( Are you a friend of the wind?)
- Samarium – Cu vi pivas auskulti min
- Prometium- Papa, Mike Sesdekuno (PM 61)
- Euopium- Mondo, mankas monon (The world is losing money)
- Gadolinium- Trinku, deamikoj, trinku (Drink, friends, drink!)
- Terbium- Acetu en svislando (Buy it in Switzerland)
- Dysprosium- Estas malalirebla (It is unreachable)
- Holmium- Kiel forta! (How stong!)
- Erbium – Kontrau kataraktan (A cure for cataracts)
- Thulium – Vere, estas rara tero (truly a rare earth element)
- Ytterbium – Protektu la prezidenton! (Save the president!)
- Lutium – Ne fogesu min! (Forget me not!)