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Computing the Massive Toxic Dump

Accra, Ghana in the coast of West Africa—the biggest landfill of the Western world where we have established our own garbage archaeological site to investigate “computers” as evidence that quickly drives human society to the pinnacle of our modern civilization. Computers remain the popular media today where it fuels the information boom through the Internet, social websites and various blogs making it accessible to all who possessed it. But what we don’t know is that the speed that we are enjoying because of the many functionality of the computer is the speed that degrading our civilization to a planet of massive toxic dumps of the future.

A computer is not just a single appliance. It is a set of appliances or parts composed of electronic chips, hard plastics, copper wires, glass tubes, galvanized iron sheets and so on and so forth that can be used by at least one person or more. As time goes by, as the technology advances more and more computer paraphernalia and new models are being introduced enhancing competition and increasing the supply, thus requiring more raw materials to cope up with the production.

The surplus results in a weak demand bringing down prices of computer parts in a pace as it upgrades and declares its old parts obsolete almost several times in a year. Computer technology arises from the intensive research of space and military. Billions of dollars are spent to calculate accurately how our space shuttle can enter and exit earth safely, project the trajectory of man-made artificial satellites to visit other planets and to study universe and discover the limit of science on how it could be interacted and manipulated.

Same principles are being used to develop smart bombs, hi-tech comlink that enables the soldiers to communicate and see each other miles away and superior aircraft and tanks that can achieve total victory. The gap between the existing modern technology and the current modern technology introduced in the market today was manipulated to achieve what we known as “manufactured demand. ” Instead of producing computers having the latest technology up to date, it was controlled in a sense that computers need series of upgrades and releases to stimulate the industry.

This gap for example is the difference of what latest technology that the market can release right at this very moment and what latest technology that the industry already know but its holding its release to the market to stimulate the buying trend. Fig 1. Thousands of discarded computers from Western Europe and the US arrive in the ports of West Africa every day. (World’s Poor Overwhelmed by Rubbish, 2009) New models were lined up, produced and distributed many times in a year. New games were introduced having higher system requirements.

Consumers are forced to discard old ones and prefer new ones to enjoy new features. Manufacturers even decided to make the parts cheap so that it could be accessible to everyone in the planet. This affordability makes computer among the popular choice in the Asian region. Statistics show that there are 825,000,000 Asian Internet users having a 600% growth from 2000 to 2010 (World Internet Usage Statistics, 2010). All over the world, computers quickly evolve from bulky sets to a miniature gizmo. From desktop comes a laptop, a notebook, an ipad—even smart phones join the fray in the latest fad of ever changing technology.

Count also the printers, scanners that are also being upgraded almost the same pace as computers. These serve as a basis that a nation and people who uses it are hastily keeping up with the time of progress. It is no surprise therefore that we could see a remarkable increase in its usage by third world countries to help stimulate their industry and to satisfy human curiosity. Now imagine how many obsolete computer parts are generated every year all over the world for the past decade plus the numbers it will produce for the next decade.

How can we dispose all of it? No wonder poor countries are now shouldering the dump we are generating from electronics that could be toxic if no proper disposal is initiated. This is the downside of upgrading. Understanding the processes that these computer parts are undergoing has given us solutions to stop these growing garbage of obsolete electronics, and that is to regulate the production and distribution of computers in such a way that instead of a step-by-step approach, we could take two steps at a time.

Why go through Pentium III, Pentium IV, and Pentium Celeron where we could jump from Pentium III to Pentium Celeron if we could regulate the time and period of distribution. Instead of three months, why hold the release to a year so that we could skip other advancement that will only lead to waste. We as man living on earth have the sole responsibility to ponder our collective actions in such a way it could not harm our environment. Our planet is a living planet, one error of decisions bring huge consequences and death to other living things that also co-exist with us for better and for worse.

We still have a chance to avoid changing poor countries to a massive toxic dump of electronics surplus, heaps and rubbles. If these countries have not enough landfills to accept the world’s trash, where will we put it then? Sooner or later the whole planet will serve as the big landfill just to accommodate these trashes. There are still human beings that need a good future for their children. We have to compute not for the sake of manufacturing computers to sell for profit but to determine the consequences of this surplus and how to regulate the technology pacing and its release.

It is massive and it is toxic so we have to act fast! Works Cited “World’s Poor Overwhelmed by Rubbish. ” BoilingSpot: Thoughts and News on the Catastrophe of Life. 07 June 2009. Guardian. co. uk 17 August 2010. <http://boilingspot. blogspot. com/2009/06/world-poor-overwhelmed-by-rubbish. html> “World Internet Usage Statistics. ” Internet World Stats. 31 June 2010. Miniwatts Marketing Group. 17 August 2010. <http://www. internetworldstats. com/stats. htm>

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