I need to get a grip on this technology thing! I've never been one for doing things on computers, I can't get a handle on all the different things they do, and I haven't got the patience to find out! I'm a practical person, I like to be active and I find myself getting frustrated when the computer won't do what I want it to do!!!
So last night found me adding the pictures and photos onto post 4 which ended up taking ages as I learnt how to place them where I wanted, which still didn't go according quite to plan!
I think I need to persuade 1 of my more technology minded friends to "show" me how it works and what I can do rather than to spend hours "trying" to work it out for myself.
So, any offers...............................................................................................???!!!!
I am extremely uncomfortable with the cost of the environmental footprint that the production of mobile phones has and the cost on human lives. We talk alot about our carbon footprint, but our personal footprints are much bigger than that, they are social as well as ecological. Many of us are lucky enough to live in a charmed world where we can buy anything if we have the money, however we know little about what our footprints are. It all happens so far away. The people and pollution that sustain us are invisible to us.
There is 1 mobile phone for every 3 people on the planet.
More than 2 phones are assembled from components every second in factories, of which the majority are in China, mainly in Shenzan, which, 25 yrs ago, was a fishing village surrounded by rice paddy. Today it is an urban sprawl of 12 million people. People make these phones, and those people are hundreds of thousands of young women migrant workers.
The main metal that is needed for our mobiles is "Coltan" which is an african nickname for a bunch of minerals that contain 2 elements, columbium and tantalum. Tantalum is essential to the modern mobile phone, without it, mobiles would still be the size of bricks and need recharging every 15 mins. And the smarter the phone, the greater the number of tantalum capacitors (the tiny components of electrical circuits that store and releace charge). A phone with a camera and video function requires more than 20 capacitors.
Today more than half the world's tantalum goes into making more than 20 billion capacitors every year - 3 for every person on the planet.
As the demand for mobile phones soared,the mines in Western Australia and Germany were not enough and the coltan reserves of eastern Congo were exploited. Unsavoury rebel military leaders made fortunes out of the ore and used it to raise cash for arms or filled their swiss bank accounts.
They pressganged child soilders and prisoners to mine the coltan and ship it off to brokers.
Amnesty International says that coltan paid for a war within a war that claimed hundreds of thousands of civilian lives and subjected millions of others to a humanitarian catastrophe.
For a while, Congo was the main source of the world's coltan and much of that went into mobile phones.
Coltan prices eased in 2002 and the congolese civil war subsided soon after but the warlords are still in business making trouble in the jungle. And since then, another vital resource has come under their control. Rising global demand for tin has triggered a rush for rich congolese reserves of cassiterite, an ore containing tin oxide. The same soilders, and the same illicit supply channels through Rwanda, are involved
And what happens to phones after we have finished with them? There are many take back schemes which recycle old phones by melting them down, extracting the metals to make new phones. Many charities benefit from these schemes by selling donated old phones to these schemes so I believe this is the best use for our my old drowned mobile.
However, I will ease my guilty conscious by pledging here and now, on this blog (not that anyone's reading yet!) that I will learn how this phone works and make use out of every function that will serve to benefit me.
I think the message from what I have written today is that, for me, I want to be driven by idealism, not by a desire to keep up with the latest fashion or consumer durables. Antimaterialism is good for the soul and the planet. We could all get by on much less if we had different priorities. If we just reduce our consumption, we'd be well on the way to tackling global warming, reducing human suffering and ensuring a more equitable global distribution or resources.
"Everyone thinks about changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself"
Leo Tolstoy, novelist and moral philosopher
So, I hope that by my 6th post, I will have learnt more about how to make this blog look more interesting, learnt about all my phone, and even have a better understanding of my camera's abilitly to help me make this blog more exciting!
Better put a whole day aside next week to write all about those experiences!