World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Computer Manufacturing Soaks Up Fossil Fuels

Computer Manufacturing Soaks Up Fossil Fuels, UN University Study Says

The manufacture of an average desktop computer and monitor uses more than 10 times its weight in fossil fuels and chemicals, according to a United Nations University (UNU) study which has called for worldwide action to halt "the growth of high-tech trash."

The study, released yesterday, shows that the construction of an average 24-kilogram computer and 27-centimetre monitor requires at least 230 kilograms, 22 kilograms of chemicals and 1,500 kilograms of water - or 1.8 tons in total, the equivalent of a rhinoceros or sports utility vehicle.

The report - which examined the environmental impact of the information technology revolution - said computer manufacturing is much more materials-intensive than making a car or refrigerator, which need only one or two times their weight in fossil fuels.

More than 130 million computers are being sold each year now, and "today it is hard to imagine life without one of these indispensable 21st century tools," one of the co-editors of the UNU study, Eric Williams, said. "But it is exactly because they have become so ubiquitous that we must be aware of the negative impacts of the PC boom."

Mr. Williams and his co-editor, Ruediger Kuehr, have called for government incentives to extend the life of personal computers and the desire or need to rapidly discard them for newer models.

They also identified several other potential environmental consequences of the PC boom, such as exposure to hazardous materials during the computer manufacturing process or when used computers have been dumped in landfills.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC