POOF! Lithium prices plunge, plants and mines shut down, after EV market goes bust

Producers of lithium and nickel pause projects after prices collapse and momentum slows for electric-vehicle sales

When the world’s most valuable lithium company last year announced plans for a $1.3 billion plant in South Carolina, local officials hailed it as transformative for the Palmetto State.
The high-tech project from Charlotte, N.C.-based

was designed to process different sources of lithium, including from recycled batteries, and serve as a supplier of the critical mineral for South Carolina’s burgeoning electric-vehicle industry.

Less than a year later, those plans have been hobbled by a crash in battery metal prices, undercut by a slowdown in electric-vehicle sales growth in the U.S. and China. Albemarle has deferred spending on the project, amid companywide cost-cutting that includes layoffs and delays to other investments as well.
Producers of lithium and nickel, which are used in lithium-ion batteries for EVs, have been stalling projects and closing mines to save cash after a painfully quick fall in commodity prices. Prices of lithium are down as much as 90% since the start of last year, while the price of nickel has roughly halved…

“The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse.”

The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God’s will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God. St. John of Avila used to say: “One ‘Blessed be God’ in times of adversity, is worth more than a thousand acts of gratitude in times of prosperity20.”

Furthermore, we must unite ourselves to God’s will not only in things that come to us directly from his hands, such as sickness, desolation, poverty, death of relatives, but likewise in those we suffer from man—for example, contempt, injustice, loss of reputation, loss of temporal goods and all kinds of persecution. On these occasions we must remember that whilst God does not will the sin, he does will our humiliation, our poverty, or our mortification, as the case may be. It is certain and of faith, that whatever happens, happens by the will of God: “I am the Lord forming the light and creating the darkness, making peace and creating evil21.” From God come all things, good as well as evil. We call adversities evil; actually they are good and meritorious, when we receive them as coming from God’s hands: “Shall there be evil in a city which the Lord hath not done22?” “Good things and evil, life and death, poverty and riches are from God23.”

It is true, when one offends us unjustly, God does not will his sin, nor does he concur in the sinner’s bad will; but God does, in a general way, concur in the material action by which such a one strikes us, robs us or does us an injury, so that God certainly wills the offense we suffer and it comes to us from his hands. Thus the Lord told David he would be the author of those things he would suffer at the hands of Absalom: “I will raise up evils against thee out of thy own house, and I will take thy wives before thy face and give them to thy neighbor24.” Hence too God told the Jews that in punishment for their sins, he would send the Assyrians to plunder them and spread destruction among them: “The Assyrian is the rod and staff of my anger . . . I will send him to take away the spoils25.” “Assyrian wickedness served as God’s scourge for the Hebrews26‘‘ is St. Augustine’s comment on this text. And our Lord himself told St. Peter that his sacred passion came not so much from man as from his Father: “The chalice which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it27?

When the messenger came to announce to Job that the Sabeans had plundered his goods and slain his children, he said: “The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away28.” He did not say: “The Lord hath given me my children and my possessions, and the Sabeans have taken them away.” He realized that adversity had come upon him by the will of God. Therefore he added: “As it hath pleased the Lord, so is it done. Blessed be the name of the Lord29.” We must not therefore consider the afflictions that come upon us as happening by chance or solely from the malice of men; we should be convinced that what happens, happens by the will of God…

Uniformity with God’s Will, Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Prayers for Detestation of Our Sins

h/t to the highly reliable Laura Wood:

Prayers for Detestation of Our Sins

O GOD, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, give me the grace to detest my sins as Thou dost detest them. Make me see that my sins and imperfections offend Thee, that they keep me from striving for perfection, that they are the cause of unhappiness to myself and to others. Fill my heart with sorrow for sin, so that | may never sin again.

O Holy Spirit, soften my heart, that | may detest my sins as | will on judgment day, which is so terrible even for the innocent soul.

O Mary, Mother of God, and my mother pray for a poor sinner who places all his confidence in thee. St. Joseph, listen to my prayer. All ye Saints of Paradise, help me to detest my sins and imperfections.


While we are at it, maybe you or someone you know needs to hear this -nvp:

Anything But the Cross

“THERE is, throughout history, a melancholy sameness in the reactions of mankind, sighing for redemption, to the Redeemer that would answer its appeal. ‘As it is Jesus Christ, yesterday and to-day and the same for ever,’ so man, looking for salvation, is yesterday and today and the same for ever. The one thing fallen man desires to know is how to live his life on earth so as to be happy. This is the very thing that Jesus desires to let him know. And yet, as was prophesied by Simeon, the Redeemer ever remains ‘a sign to be contradicted.’ The sick world, like a patient in the delirium of fever, is for ever turning on its physician and submitting him to violence and maltreatment. It is because the problem of happiness is so intimately bound up with the problem of pain. There is no purification of soul without suffering. Through purification the soul reaches that close intimacy with God and that vision of Him, which makes the soul happy. When men are told that the beatitude they seek is conditioned by suffering, they find the doctrine a hard saying. They will have none of it, and will continue to indulge the hope that they can reach the goal of human desire another way.”

— Fr. Edward Leen, Why the Cross?

Did Lent sneak up on you? Here are some tips.

Blessed waning Carnevale (the correct spelling, as it translates as “Meat, goodbye” carne vale). As such, it is a Catholic celebration when properly observed, and it lasts for weeks, not just one day. Alas, most of us no longer really say goodbye to meat/eggs/butter for all of Lent, as used to be required of all the faithful. Being a Keto/no carbs person for over 20 years, I am thankful for that.

Another thing that used to be required was actual fasting. As in, days with zero food. If you have never done it, you really should. It’s not even hard, especially when there are only two days when it is currently required. Examine your conscience; do you really think fasting means three meals a day, as the current discipline suggests?

Zero. Just do it. Once you’ve done it once, you will actually look forward to it. Come back and call me a liar if I’m wrong.

It would be different if it were multiple days or weeks in a row of course, in which case some sustenance would be needed. But for ONE day, come on. Zero calories, folks. Water, coffee, and no-calorie electrolytes are okay. It really is a fine way to start off towards your Lenten goals. Note well, those latter two things DO violate the Eucharistic Fast, which allows only water to be taken.

Speaking of goals, commit to them in writing. Post them on your fridge or some other prominent place. Here are some things that have been going through my head:

Commit to a limited number of things you will practice DAILY. Needless to say, this starts with the Rosary. If you can commit to daily Mass, it is highly recommended. Daily Mass in the TLM is really special during Lent, because each day has its own proper Mass, every single day of Lent. It is like being on a journey. Rosary and Mass, and we are now committed to one hour per day.

Now stop. Before you go further, do NOT attempt to take on the workload of a cloistered religious. You will fail, probably by the end of the week, get really discouraged, and be off to a rotten Lent. Instead, start small, and add things if you are able. Make your list aspirational, for sure, but start out smaller.

What about other structured prayer? Last year I did Benedictus and Divine Intimacy every day. This year I am moving mental prayer up the priority list, putting Adoration first. If you have never sat in quiet conversation with our Lord, or if it has been a long time, maybe try to get back to it. 15 minutes after Mass is a good place to start, but getting the solid hour once a week is where the heavy lifting gets done. The most effective way to do this is attempt to converse for the first 30 minutes, then shut up and listen for the next 30. He speaks in whispers.

Next on my list are books. How big is that stack of books you ordered, but haven’t read yet? It’s embarrassing. Constantly confessing wasting too much time on the internet, yet that stack hasn’t gotten any smaller. I am doing something about that this Lent.

There are still a few hours left, and I still have a few more things I’m mulling. Leave your best ideas in the combox!

Two more resources on fasting HERE and HERE.

Blessed Lent, everyone.

11 years ago today, Pope Benedict attempted to create an Expanded Petrine Ministry, failed to do so out of Substantial Error, and thus remained Pope until his death

The thing Benedict attempted to do in a series of events 11-28 February 2013 was fully explained by his priest-Secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, in a speech delivered at the Pontifical Gregorian University at Rome on 20 May 2016. Note that +Ganswein speaks as if Benedict actually pulled it off, which he did not. Because altering the intrinsic nature of the papacy, an office which was Divinely Instituted, is impossible. Thus, this Substantial Error wholly invalidated his resignation per Canon 188, and he remained pope until his death 31 December 2022. Spread the word.

“There are not therefore two popes, but de facto an expanded ministry — with an active member and a contemplative member. This is why Benedict XVI has not given up either his name, or the white cassock. This is why the correct name by which to address him even today is “Your Holiness”; and this is also why he has not retired to a secluded monastery, but within the Vatican — as if he had only taken a step to the side to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy which he, by that step, enriched with the “power station” of his prayer and his compassion located in the Vatican Gardens… he has not abandoned the Office of Peter — something which would have been entirely impossible for him after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005. By an act of extraordinary courage, he has instead renewed this office (even against the opinion of well-meaning and undoubtedly competent advisers), and with a final effort he has strengthened it (as I hope). Of course only history will prove this. But in the history of the Church it shall remain true that, in the year 2013, the famous theologian on the throne of Peter became history’s first “pope emeritus.” Since then, his role — allow me to repeat it once again — is entirely different from that, for example, of the holy Pope Celestine V, who after his resignation in 1294 would have liked to return to being a hermit, becoming instead a prisoner of his successor, Boniface VIII (to whom today in the Church we owe the establishment of jubilee years). To date, in fact, there has never been a step like that taken by Benedict XVI. So it is not surprising that it has been seen by some as revolutionary, or to the contrary as entirely consistent with the Gospel; while still others see the papacy in this way secularized as never before, and thus more collegial and functional or even simply more human and less sacred. And still others are of the opinion that Benedict XVI, with this step, has almost — speaking in theological and historical-critical terms — demythologized the papacy.”

Readers of this space will know that last term. There are 300 pages of the +Miller Dissertation from 1980 explaining the decades of efforts among German theologians to pull off just such a thing in the 60s and 70s. It was sort of a big deal.

You can read the unabridged English translation of the speech from Diane Montagna HERE. The original reportage from Ed Pentin is HERE.

Today is also he traditional feast day of that time the Blessed Virgin Mary revealed, or rather confirmed, the doctrine of her Immaculate Conception, not to Cardinals or bishops, but to a destitute, illiterate 14 year old girl. The townspeople tried to have her declared insane and put away. Take heart.