JACKSON HOLE, WYO– Getting off oil and gas could mean more mining of another sort, according to one university professor headed to Jackson today.

Adam Simon, Ph.D., from University of Michigan, will present tonight at the behest of Geologists of Jackson Hole. Simon’s area of expertise is in economic geology, geochemistry, geology, and volcanism. He ascertains that in order to build a carbon-neutral energy infrastructure, society must wean itself completely from the primary energy sources coal, oil and natural gas and replace them with carbon-free energy sources for both electricity and transportation.

Adam Simon, University of Michigan. (Courtesy University of Michigan)

Sounds simple, right?

What that will entail, according to Simon, is a marked uptick in mining for metals—many of which can be found in the Cowboy State.

“In addition to the technological advances necessary for such a transition, a carbon-neutral world requires a significant increase in the production of metals such as copper, cobalt, lithium, nickel and rare earth elements that are needed to generate, transport and store energy for baseload and peaking power,” Simon says. “A major assumption of all carbon-neutral pledges is a readily available supply of the metal resources required to transition from fossil fuels to renewables such as solar, wind, tidal and on-demand battery storage. Such a resource supply is not guaranteed.”

Simon’s talk will provide the audience with an understanding of mineral exploration for the resources necessary for a carbon-neutral infrastructure and whether or not the timeline for discovery and production of these resources aligns with proposed dates for achieving carbon neutrality.

“Moving towards a sustainable future: Metals are required to get there” presented by Adam Simon, Ph.D., Univ. of Michigan and hosted by the Geologists of Jackson Hole. Teton County Library, Tuesday, August 20, 6 pm. Free and open to all.