Who is Siddharth Kara? Joe Rogan cobalt mining revelation sparks global concern

Joe Rogan and Siddharth Kara discussed the adverse mining conditions of the Congo. (Image via The Joe Rogan Experience, Mike Roach/Getty)
Joe Rogan and Siddharth Kara discussed the adverse mining conditions of the Congo. (Image via The Joe Rogan Experience, Mike Roach/Getty)

American commentator Joe Rogan was left stunned after he hosted Siddharth Kara, a Harvard professor and author, who revealed that there is no such thing as "clean cobalt."

In the latest episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, the 55-year-old podcaster was enlightened by Kara, who explained that almost every lithium battery-powered gadget we use today is a product of slavery in the cobalt mines in the Congo.

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"Cobalt is in every single lithium, rechargeable battery manufactured in the world today. Every smartphone, every tablet, every laptop and crucially, every electric vehicle relies on it."

He supported his argument of no such thing as "clean cobalt" by sharing videos from the mines of Congo where hundreds of miners were working with their hands.


All about Siddharth Kara and his revelations about Congo cobalt mines on Joe Rogan's podcast

According to the Harvard Kennedy School's website, Siddharth Kara is a researcher, author, screenwriter, and modern slavery activist. He earned a law degree from England, graduated with a bachelor's degree from Duke University, and also got a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia University.

He began his professional career as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch before running his own finance and M&A consulting firm.

He is currently working as an adjunct professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Visiting Scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health. Siddharth Kara has authored three books on modern-day slavery - S*x Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery (2009), Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia (2012), and Modern Slavery: A Global Perspective (2017).

Siddharth Kara adapted his first book into a film titled Trafficked, which received several accolades. He recently authored his fourth book, Cobalt Red: How The Blood of The Congo Powers Our Lives, which describes the adverse conditions of cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Moreover, he has appeared extensively on several news networks like the BBC, National Geographic, CNN, the Guardian, etc. Kara also advises several governmental agencies on anti-slavery laws and policies.

Describing the "appalling, heart-wrenching, dangerous conditions" of cobalt mining, Kara told Joe Rogan during his podcast interview that three-fourths of the cobalt supply comes from the Congo.

"By and large, the world doesn't know what's happening...I don’t think people are aware of how horrible it is."

When Joe Rogan countered Kara's claims with the concept of "clean cobalt," the latter said:

"It's all marketing."

Kara added that he had "never seen" a cobalt mine where slavery and child labor were not prevalent.


Twitter was left concerned after Joe Rogan's podcast with Siddharth Kara went viral

After Siddharth Kara's claims of modern-day slavery in Congo's cobalt mines went viral, Twitter was left concerned. Several users pointed out Kara's claims and expressed urgent attention to the topic. Some users also tagged tech mogul Elon Musk and asked them to work a way out to help the adverse conditions of the cobalt mining workers.

Screenshot of a Twitter user pointing out the adversities of cobalt mining. (Image via Twitter/Sportskeeda)
Screenshot of a Twitter user pointing out the adversities of cobalt mining. (Image via Twitter/Sportskeeda)

Several users also hailed the latest episode of The Joe Rogan Experience as one of the best of all time.

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