• Patrick McAndrew

The Environmental Effects of Our Wireless Age

I’m led to believe that most people, especially in the Millennial cohort, are pro-environment.  There have been a lot of initiatives created to improve our planet and we still have a ways to go.  While a lot of the frenzy tends to be around litter, water pollution, and air pollution, we don’t hear many people talking about the negative influence of wireless radiation.

“Wha-wha- whaaaat?!”  I know!  To be honest, this is a new concept for me.  I recently found out about this in the new documentary, Electronic Crack, where an individual was interviewed who actual became critically sick due to wireless radiation.  I then stumbled upon an article titled, Our phones and gadgets are now endangering the planet.

At first this seemed a little hard to believe.  “Really?  Wireless radiation?”  But as Charlie from The Santa Clause states, “Just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”  True dat, Charlie.  True dat.

The New Environmental Culprit

As it turns out, wireless radiation is beginning to have a huge effect on our planet with regards to global warming.  John Harris, the author of the article, quotes, “The energy used in our digital consumption is set to have a bigger impact on global warming than the entire aviation industry.”  This is insane, but surprisingly true.  The energy our daily devices are using up is much greater than we realize.

I’m no environmental expert, but when we look at the facts behind this research it is telling.  Harris concludes, “The vast majority of electricity used in the world’s data centers comes from non-renewable sources, and as their numbers rapidly increase, there are no guarantees that this will change.”  So, as we continue to grow more technologically advanced, we put our planet in more danger.

Leading the Pack 

There are companies that are environmentally conscious.  Facebook, Google, and Apple are among the leaders in striving for clean and renewable energy.  My hope is that they set the precedent as we move towards the future.  But I believe it puts things into perspective regarding the responsibility one holds when developing new technologies.

We talk a lot on The Low Tech Trek about how technology alters our relationships with one another as human beings.  But this article opened my eyes.  It’s not just about developing deeper and more meaningful relationships with one another; it’s also about developing better relationships with nature and the world around us.  If we choose to spend an unhealthy amount of time on our devices, we are contributing to serious environmental issues.  Eek!

I am curious to see how we sort of this issue.  Technology provides a lot of ease and efficiency for us as a human species, but like many other things that do the same, it comes at a disastrous cost to our environment.  How do we balance our desires to progress while still taking care of our planet?  I suppose this is a matter of sorting out our priorities.  If technology and the environment were on Facebook, their relationship status with one another would be, “It’s Complicated.”

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