Phones have become an extension of our hands, and internet connectivity has become essential for everyday life. Today, new technologies take root in our daily lives, customs and customs, however, the links between technology and the environment are not very positive, because the manufacture and use of the latter remains an important source of energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, another climate imbalance.
What is the connection between technology and world warming? Can we use it to reduce the damage of this problem?
The impact of technology on the environment
The industrial revolution generated new technologies of tremendous power. This was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Europe and the United States, from about 1760 to 1840. This was followed by continued industrialization and new technological advances in developed countries around the world.
The impact of this technology on the environment has led to the misuse and degradation of our natural lands. These technologies have broken our world in 2 main ways: pollution and also the depletion of natural resources.
Evidence shows however our needs for technology and also the want for lanthanide minerals have an effect on the surroundings. Examples of environmental problems related to the supply of minerals and precious metals for technological devices and electronic equipment are everywhere you look. Think of congo’s cobalt mines, lithium that plunders the Chilean desert, and the toxic mud lakes of Inner Mongolia. These 3 examples ar simply the tip of the iceberg.
The environmental impact of technology does not stop at raw materials and their origin. Manufacturers need tremendous energy to turn them into complex electronic and technological products that we use. The worldwide transportation of these products also contributes to carbon emissions and air pollution.
Of course, bulky servers and data banks that keep these technologies running consume large amounts of energy every year. a lot of of this energy doesn’t return from renewable energy sources. For example, global electricity demand from data centers in 2018 was estimated at about 198 twh, or nearly 1% of the global final electricity demand. Efficiency is increasing, and the use of renewable energy is increasing sharply, but we still have a long way to go.
The environmental costs of consumer technologies do not stop there. These products are also a problem at the end of their productive life. Globally, we dispose of $62.5 billion worth of electronic waste each year.
A small percentage of older electronic devices are recycled. However, the vast majority of them end up in landfills or burn in landfills. These landfills are usually out of sight, around some of the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet. This situation clearly not only endangers human health, but also has a very negative impact on the environment.
Only about one fifth of the world’s e-waste is currently officially recycled. Millions of people around the world are estimated to be working informally to recycle the precious materials needed by smartphones and other similar devices. These people are often exposed to unsafe work environments, which can have negative health effects and threaten the environment.