More Tech = More E-Waste. “Smart” Phones, Utility “Smart” Meters, 5G, IoT, AI Aren’t Good for the Planet.

By B.N. Frank

A recent article published by Flagler College Gargoyle serves as another reminder that our government and society’s increasing fascination, implementation, and reliance on digital, electronic, and wireless technology has also significantly increased the amount of Electronic Waste (E-Waste) being dumped in landfills and everywhere else.

Most people try to recycle and believe that it is the solution to all problems. They fail to realize that recycling is the last step they can take to save the environment. Resources have already been exhausted to make the product in the first place and even more so to recycle it. Refusing and reducing is the best action one can take for the environment.

“It is better to keep using the current product until it fails or becomes completely obsolete,” he said.

After all the efforts have been made to avoid the product in the first place, then one can move on to recycling as much as they can.

For those concerned about climate change, E-Waste should be considered along with all other sources of landfill waste and pollution because it doesn’t seem that we are going to be able to recycle our way out of this.

Utility “Smart” Meters are a great example of new technology being deliberately created and manufactured with the knowledge that they would need to be replaced frequently.  There was nothing wrong with original analog meters which had an average life span of 40 years.  Millions of “Smart” Meters have been installed throughout the U.S. and around the world within the last 10-15 years.  Millions have also been replaced – and are scheduled to be replaced – due to the many problems associated with them including fires, explosions, general failure, measurement errors, and more.  Who knows how many of these meters and their components have ended up in landfills?

Deliberately creating products with short life spans is referred to as “planned obsolescence.” Like utility “Smart” Meters, the campaigns for the “Race for 5G”, “Smart Cities,” Internet of Things”, Artificial Intelligence (AI), etc. will include more new devices, products, and infrastructure that will likely need to be repaired and replaced frequently – hence more E-Waste.  The implementation of all this new technology is also highly risky in other ways besides contributing to E-Waste.

Whatis5G.Info has one page devoted entirely to E-Waste and another devoted to environmental impacts  from 5G technology.  Activist Post writers have also covered sources of E-Waste many times before.  Supply and demand dictates how much technology is created for personal use and then disposed of in landfills.  Trying to stop the industry and the government’s forced implementation of all of this is a whole other thing.

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