I finished reading World Wide Waste by Gerry McGovern. I'd consider it essential reading for anyone working with computers!


It's well cited (though I still need to check those citations) & uses maths effectively to make it's point.

That computers + (surveillance) capitalism is actually worse for the environment than the predigital era. That we can and must move slow and fix things, and fund that vital work directly.

Don't get me wrong, computers can absolutely help us regain our environmental efficiency. They just *aren't*.

Not as long as we're:
* constantly syncing everything to the cloud,
* expecting same-hour delivery,
* funding our clickbait via surveillance advertising,
* buying a new phone every year,
* using AIs because they're cool rather than useful,
* running bloated software & webpages,
* buying into "big data"
* etc

Computing is environmentally cheap, but it rapidly adds up!

"Computing is environmentally cheap (...)"

Computers are not though unfortunately, their production is an often overlooked massive energy expense that often exceeds the running energy consumption of their entire lifespan.

There is probably a better way to deal with this through repair and reuse, but either way computers are highly environmentally problematic even before they got to compute anything. :/

This article has some good info: solar.lowtechmagazine.com/2009

@unicorn Yeah, there's a good reason I listed: "buying a new smartphone every year". I just couldn't fit *why* in my toot.


You can add TVs and internet boxes to the list.
5G will bring their useless internet of shit devices and antennes.
I've heard there are 30 years of rare-earth metal resources left...

· · Fedilab · 1 · 2 · 1

@numahell @unicorn Wouldn't be surprised. Our phones each contain all bit one of those metals...

@alcinnz @numahell @unicorn and then most of us don't bother handing in old electronics for recycling.

I wonder how long it'll take us before we start "mines" in landfills to get rare earth metals from them
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