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Guillaume Pitron

Real Fiction Radio Broadcast: December 2, 2020 12 p.m. ET on WERA-FM 96.7 Arlington, VA


Are Rare Earth metals the next oil? Guillaume Pitron suggests they are at the heart of the global geopolitical fight for resources that power our consumer devices & military aircraft.

Pitron's book – The RARE METALS WAR: The Dark Side of Clean Energy and Digital Technologies is one of the most impactful books we read this year at Real Fiction. Pitron is based in Paris and is an expert on the geopolitics of commodities.

Pitron’s work offers a clear-eyed look at the dark side of our dependence on the rare metals essential to solar panels, smart phones, wind turbines, electric vehicles. We also have to include stealth fighter jets at the heart of US Military advancements.

Drawing on six years of research across a dozen countries, Pitron shows that green energy is not green, and digital technology needs deeply analog materials.

Is this book timely? Yes. President-Elect Joe Biden has signaled that the United States will re-enter the 2015 Paris Agreement. Former Secretary of State John Kerry will serve the Administration as Climate Envoy. The reality is that the U.S. has a classic tension between evolving industrial policy with a geopolitical fight for the rarest metals deep in the Earth’s crust. And China is at the heart of this struggle.

Guillaume Pitron has authored reports, investigations and documentaries across more than 40 countries. He studied international law at Georgetown University. He is a documentary filmmaker.

Note from Lori: If you’ve listened to other Real Fiction episodes, you know that I like to explore the intersection between fact and fiction. I’m especially interested in the evolution of an author’s work. Perhaps a book becomes a film or a short story becomes a novel. In the case of Guillaume Pitron, his life’s work is taking surprising artistic turns. This is an author to watch.


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