Piece of my world

3 human inventions, permanently affecting the Earth

05/03/2015

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Tags : ecology civilization

Our relatively young civilization has already reached a level of development, where each step leads to serious consequences for the ecology of the planet.
The depletion of the Earth’s interior, ozone depletion, extinction of entire species of flora and fauna – these are anxiety alarms for our population, reasonable homo sapiens to use our achievements, deliberate and balanced.
 
1. Solar. Alternative energy or impact on the ecology?


Solar panels - the most popular variant of alternative energy. Of course, the local use of this energy source for recharging electric vehicles or buildings provides real economic and environmental benefits. However, large-scale construction of solar power plants causes a lot of controversial issues.
Firstly, it’s about location. Max effect solar plates give for perpendicular sunbeam. It means that for greater efficiency panels should be located horizontally, occupying thousands of square meters of natural land.
Launched in 2014, the largest solar power plant is located in California and covers an area of over 24 square kilometers of wild nature. Moreover, these remote desert areas аге required to establish the mechanism of uninterrupted service, namely cleaning solar panels, which is extremely problematic in arid regions, and quite wasteful in respect of drinking water resources.
Secondly, according to confirmed data, geo stations operating on the principle of focusing the solar beam with the help of mirrors are able to vaporize hundreds of birds flying over them for a few hours and heat a large air mass which can have unpredictable effects on the local ecosystem.
And thirdly, if the production of solar plates is harmless enough and its service life reaches 25-30 years, the question of recycling is not solved at all, and all harmful components decompose and settle in the environment.

2. Batteries - little killers



An extremely negative impact on the environment has a recycling process of another modern invention - batteries.
Nowadays growing market of batteries has reached truly cosmic proportions - forecasts of implementation batteries for 2016 in the order of 144 billion dollars. And every element - from a miniature watch pill to pound car battery –is a potential source of infection.  It contains heavy metals (lead, cadmium, lithium), and acid.
Batteries, which had already used, should be required to be disposed of at special facilities. But, unfortunately, from about 350 thousand tons of unusable batteries less than half are utilized in appropriate conditions. The rest mass decomposes in landfills. Despite the fact that even an ordinary penlight battery is able to poison up to 20 square meters of soil or 400 liters of water, and that is the death of at least one tree, a pair of birds, flocks of juveniles…
Momentary euphoria of technological advantages veiled problem prospects - a poisoned environment, and as a consequence, the growth of mutagenic and carcinogenic effects, weakened immunity, reduction in life expectancy.
 
 
3. Your new gadget - another nail in the shell of the planet



Unfortunately, the most actively growing industry - computer technology is also rapidly increasing negative environmental component.
 
The fact that the basis of electronic devices - the printed circuit board, which is used in the production of toxic substances and toxic acids, copper, lead, tin, zinc and others. In addition, the updated and modified park of electronic gadgets makes uneconomical not only their repair, but also a recycling. To throw away old mobile phone or monitor will be cheaper, than trying to repair it, and the original design does not involve recycling and reuse of such units. Basically, recycling affects only by units which contain precious metals, and that at least 15% of the total number of failed boards.
 
Analysis of the data of the total number of waste office gives stunning results. For example, the UK each year ejected to 50 tons of printed circuit boards (PCB). In Russia and Ukraine over the past couple years have delivered nearly half a million tons of various office equipment, which is already outdated and “electronic” waste.
 
Although the company by law must require utilizing it, in practice they just take it to the landfills, as and processing plants is lacking and the recycling is quite expensive event.  Every new electronic toy means another crack in the fragile ecosystem of our planet. Undisputed facts of environmental degradation as a result of significant growth in electronic waste obliges the international community to take robust and wide-ranging measures for the collection, recycling and disposal of waste components.
 
The 2003 EU Directive of the processing of electronic waste identify the main concepts aimed at both the solution of the technical problem, and the social awareness among the population. Strict compliance with all standards and responsible attitude of each will help to protect the blue planet, because we do not have another...
  

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