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How E-waste Contributes to Climate Change

Face the air conditioner. If you have a photographic memory, try to remember the usual number the thermostat switch has been pointed at for the last few years. If you don’t own one, retrieve the most recent electric bill you have just paid. Look at the section wherein a small bar graph is drawn with the months under the falling or rising bars. If you are spatially inept, just look at the amount of paid credits and compare it to some of the last few months’ bills. Clearly, that small piece of paper is a perfect testament of the slowly manifesting effects of a worldwide problem: Climate change.

Nowadays climate change has become a glittering generality environmentalist utter in vehement protest against the destructive behavior of mankind. The term only started waving at the onset of the 20Th Century, signaling the massive revolution of modernity branded as another big leap under the arm of human civilization. For us, unwitting humans, the glory of mankind is yet on the brink of unfolding, but for the ecologists, we seem to be going downhill into the pits of devastation. I used to read this malignant term only in science textbooks and forlorn documentaries sitting on our coffee table: Now, it has generated a great force field that has finally shaken us and our sleeping sensibilities. The dramatics have risen into an unmitigated clamor. And we can hardly cover our ears.

Climate change cannot be interpreted by mere descriptions of polar ice cap melting, or migratory birds losing their way, or crabs and fishes, either in hyper hibernation or worse, dying. It cannot be managed by planting more trees or by passing up ordinances on clean and healthy living in the neighborhood, or sending Al Gore to different places in the world to exude his charismatic aura while preaching about greenhouse gases and it effects, or too much carbon on the depleting ozone layer (I learned in our course, Earth and Environmental Science that carbon is one of the most abundant elements found on earth since the beginning of time, together with nitrogen, argon, and oxygen. That means no sweat about that!) In order to solve this, we must get to the heart of all things. We need to examine if we are promoting the common good of humanity or we are just allowing our inordinate desires to take over our whole selves.

Let’s take for example the problem of e-wastes. Now that people are becoming more and more hooked with innovations of technology, they also tend to splurge on electronic devices- some of which are tablets, PCs, and Smartphones. And what happens to the gizmos after some time? We either leave them lying around, or throw them into the nearest trash bin. What we do not know is that excessive production of these gadgets increases their carbon footprint; thus, contributing to the accumulation of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere- which will then further the effects of climate change.

If we take a simple action like selling old iPads for recycling, then we are already doing so much for the betterment of the world. We shall not blame others or the older generations for why they didn’t do their share to care for the environment. What matters is that we know the problem and we can do something about it.

I have an analogy to make: We always laugh about how stupid bulls are when they encounter the wise matador. They dash and attack wildly and untiringly, only to be killed by the matador afterwards. They always go after that red cape not knowing that the real enemy is the one holding and swaying it. They do not know that if they put down the matador, they are putting an end to that annoying flutter of the red cape. Likewise is the case of the climate change mystery: Close the wounds of every man and we will have a better place to live in. We don’t need someone like Michael Jackson to constantly remind us of that.

Climate change, and all its entailing complications, is a stigma on man’s morality; it cannot be solved by odd campaigns and silly legal resolutions. And the first step to take is to sell electronics for cash and live a greener life.

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