When we talk about the effect of technology on the environment, it is almost knee jerk to talk about the e-waste, energy depletion and health impacts of digital (ab)use. In addition to these, there are indirect implications as well, such as underage and low-wage labor and the digital divide between haves and have-nots. These problems are not trivial and some catastrophic effects are already being seen.
Statistics offer us compelling evidence:
- We generate 20-50 million tons of "technotrash" every year.
- Production of a single computer and monitor consumes 530 pounds of fossil fuels, 48 pounds of chemicals and 1.5 tons of water.
- There is alarmingly high levels of lead and silica in the bodies of people involved in handling e-waste.
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