(my shell phone)
I just saw a news flash that Apple posted $7.7 billion profit based on their latest iPhone. I am not a Luddite, but sort of wannabe one. I have never owned anything more than a simple emergency cell phone (and only got that 2 years ago) that still has more computing power than the desktop Apple I did my college senior thesis on.
Suddenly a question popped into my mind that goes way beyond Apple. What is the environmental cost of our devices? I already have read reports of the social impact on Chinese factory workers. The only environmental impact I had envisioned was the phones’ physical bodies wasting away in a chemical soup of a dump site somewhere.
Then I came across this article that put another piece of the environmental puzzle together and was blown away by the thought we exist inside a pot of water we do not know is about to boil. Steaming up, up and away into the Cloud. This was the first time I encountered the phrase “digital ecosystem,” but of course that is because I prefer to live inside a natural ecosystem and am behind the times.
Quite the perspective:
The report finds that the global Information-Communications-Technologies (ICT) ecosystem uses a total of 1,500 terawatt-hours of power every year. This is equal to the total electricity generated by Japan and Germany combined, and as much electricity used to light up the entire world in 1985.