World Of Warcraft: The Silent Killer

912 words - 4 pages

Do you like playing video games? I sure do, and I plan on entering the gaming industry when I complete my education. But did you know that the components of your game system are slowly destroying our precious planet? While we are all aware of environmental problems, and many of us do things to help reduce the effect we have on the environment, such as recycling, or walking or biking to work, we never think of the processes that go into making our computer and gaming systems, televisions, stereos, I-Pods, and cell phones. This new line of waste is known as e-waste. Things we generally take for granted as "eco-friendly" because they seemingly produce no waste from paper or other material disposal. E-mails for example while saving approximately twenty five reams of paper per person per year, they also require energy to store. It has been estimated that for every 20mb (mega-bytes) of data stored, we use one pound of coal per year. (www.TreeHugger.com) This theory is of course skewed, because of advances in electricity production and alternative methods such as wind, solar and hydroelectric power, but it still gives us something to think about. Free doesn't always mean free from consequences.Let's talk a little bit about what goes into making the computer sitting on your desk right now. In order to make one two gram chip, it requires seventy two grams of chemicals, 1.2 kilograms of fossil fuels, and thirty two kilograms of water. Also thatFarris 2computer will only be considered effective in today's fast moving society for about two years. (Slade 4) With the constant upgrading to new and faster programs requiring moreprocessing power from our pc's it is generally considered faster and more convenient to simply purchase a new computer rather than upgrading your old machine. So, what do you do with your old computer? Well, if you decide to throw out your computer this will require finding safe disposal sites for "two to four kilograms of lead , along with arsenic, antimony, beryllium, cadmium, lead, nickel, zinc, and a host of other chemicals, which are difficult if not impossible to recycle." (www.ciwmba.com).Currently about two-thirds of our computers end up in storage because of the inability to dispose of them. Often these computers are shipped overseas to places such as India that are still developing and laws haven't caught up with this new form of pollution. In these places the processes used to reclaim usable metals and others substances are so caustic that the people are constantly sick after being exposed to the dangerous processes used to extract metals, and breathing in the dangerous vapors produced when the unusable components are incinerated. "The trees wither and die, and farmland is desecrated being left with nothing able to grow." (www.mywire.com). The...

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