Something kids will fear way more than climate change

Image result for teenagers smartphones selfies climate strike

Is there one thing greater than climate change that can cause children irreparable harm? Yes. Perhaps the kids attending the school climate strikes tomorrow ought to consider that the very smartphone devices that they can’t put down are also harmful to the environment. Will these kids happily give up their smartphones in a quest to save the planet? Will these kids be willing to give up Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to save their own lives? Not in a million years.

An abstract of a report on the impact of technological devices on GHG emissions by Belkhir & Elmeligi, titled, ‘Assessing ICT global emissions footprint: Trends to 2040 & recommendations is as follows,

In light of the concerted efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) per the so-called Paris Agreement, the Information and Communication Industry (ICT) has received little attention as a significant contributor to GHGE and if anything is often highly praised for enabling efficiencies that help reduce other industry sectors footprint. In this paper, we aim at assessing the global carbon footprint of the overall ICT industry, including the contribution from the main consumer devices, the data centers and communication networks, and compare it with the to the total worldwide GHGE. We conduct a detailed and rigorous analysis of the ICT global carbon footprint, including both the production and the operational energy of ICT devices, as well as the operational energy for the supporting ICT infrastructure. We then compare this contribution to the global 2016-level GHGE. We have found that, if unchecked, ICT GHGE relative contribution could grow from roughly 1–1.6% in 2007 to exceed 14% of the 2016-level worldwide GHGE by 2040, accounting for more than half of the current relative contribution of the whole transportation sector. Our study also highlights the contribution of smartphones and shows that by 2020, the footprint of smartphones alone would surpass the individual contribution of desktops, laptops and displays. Finally, we offer some actionable recommendations on how to mitigate and curb the ICT explosive GHGE footprint, through a combination of renewable energy use, tax policies, managerial actions and alternative business models.”

The study found that the relative emissions share of smartphones is expected to grow to 11% by 2020, exceeding the individual contributions of PCs, laptops and computer displays.

In absolute values, emissions caused by smartphones will jump from 17Mt to 125Mt of CO2 equivalent per year (Mt-CO2e/yr) in that time span or +730%. Most of this occurs at the production stage. Nevertheless with mobile carriers encouraging shorter cycles to upgrade this will only get worse.

ICT will grow from 215Mt-CO2e/yr in 2007 to 764 MtCO2-e/yr by 2020, with data centres (storing all those photos) accounting for about two-thirds of the total contribution.

For comparison purposes, the entire carbon footprint of Australia was about 550 MtCO2-e in 2018.

CM guesses these kids ought to be walking to school too. It is a great lesson in what real sacrifice means. At least they got the day off school.

One comment

  1. Hi Mike,

    You keep busy with your blog. The environmental acolytes must stick pins in your effigy.

    Forgive me for interfering with what follows!!

    Further to our Pitt-Street chat a while back: would it be worth trying a couple of Charlie-Aitken style pieces? It might help to determine:

    – If you enjoy doing them;

    – Stuart and Marc feel they’d add value.

    As you probably remember, my liking for CA’s offerings was his one-pagers starting with some high-level market trend or challenge (a 30,000-foot perspective) and then quickly spinning down to ground level implications – and offering a couple of local-market company buy/sell possibilities. As with your current blog, they were written in a fun and provocative style.

    Do you have anything in the biotech or digital sectors that might be worth trying?

    Keep well and all the best,

    Timothy

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s