World Wide Waste with Gerry McGovern

Katie Singer 'The invisible, immaterial Internet is not what it seems'

John Carter
December 7, 2021
52
 MIN
Listen to this episode on your favorite platform!

Katie Singer 'The invisible, immaterial Internet is not what it seems'

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pretium est ipsum dictum lectus mauris netus. Diam sed sit quisque facilisi luctus feugiat.

Earth Experience Design - Online training Course with Gerry - Jan 19 2022
https://www.thisisdoing.com/courses/earth-experience-design-january-2022

About this episode

Some people live their ideas. Katie Singer is one of them. She writes about the energy, extraction, toxic waste and greenhouse gases involved in manufacturing computers, telecom infrastructure, electric vehicles and other electronic technologies.

Download this episode

Episode Transcript

Auto-generated transcript

00:00:07

S1: Welcome to Worldwide Waste, a podcast about how digital is killing the planet and what to do about it. Katie Singer writes about nature and technology for Wall Street International magazine. She spoke about the internet's footprint at the United Nations 2018 Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation, and in 2019 on a panel with the climatologist, Dr. James Hansen. An electronic silent spring is her most recent book. Katie's work but the energy extractions, transcontinental shipping, greenhouse gas emissions and toxic waste involved in manufacturing, operating and discarding the internet. Electric vehicles and solar PV and industrial wind systems is available at W W W Dot, our web dot tech slash letters

00:01:02

S2: I read at some point from Greenpeace. The internet is the largest thing that humanity has built, and so its electricity use and its energy used greenhouse gases, emitted toxins, emitted extractions, required worker hazards. All of that would be in proportion to it being the largest thing that we have built untouched by. Your saying that I've been thinking about this a long time because. That's true. And the fact is, I am still learning something every day that blows me away. I just get shocked every day about about this techno sphere that we continue to create, and it continues to grow

00:02:00

S1: to even think about the idea that that the internet. You know, and all the infrastructure that it taps into is, you know, the single biggest global thing. It ties together this mega global architecture infrastructure around the world. And it is. Yeah. You know, when you think about it in that sense, the the greatest structure that that has ever been put together by by humans.

00:02:37

S2: I think what's very gripping for me. Is how rarely people know that that that will say, oh, if you fly on an airplane that will really impact the planet. I'm trying to think of other things that we're concerned about. We're not noticing how much tech these electronic technologies impact us. And I would say the impacts remain invisible to most of us and we continue to build it without awareness of their impacts. That's a big problem. We're still looking to electronic technologies to reduce climate impacts to reduce toxic waste. Even just logging in to this conversation. At some point I got a message that said, Thank you for not using paper. Thank you for doing this. You know for having your meeting online or not not. Thank you for doing it on paper like that. I didn't travel to do it. Yes. And but the fact is. There is so much harmful stuff involved in this very podcast, and I can break some of it down and then we can talk about what goes into one smartphone, if you like.

00:04:15

S1: Sure, sure. And you know, one thing that I learned relatively recently was that, you know, if we were if we were having this over a traditional phone line and we had a recording mechanism as it connected with that phone like that and we had an our call that the traditional phone line that would create about about four megabytes added a 3.5 or four megabytes of data. But this call, just audio now will create about 27 megabytes of data. So you know, the

00:04:54

S2: way we have a I have a question there for you. If we had if we were doing this with video, then how many megabytes or

00:05:02

S1: about about 270 are 300 megabytes if it goes up, you know, and that's just standard. VIDEO If we were doing it in in high definition video, it could easily get two gigabytes or 1.2 gigabytes for it for an hour. So we've gone from an old traditional landline phone over a wire with about 3.4 3.5 megabyte to with a very high definition, you know, video to 1.2 gigabyte in the. So there's the scale up, but even the audio the audio over to the internet is less efficiently delivered than the audio over a telephone line. And how many how many

00:05:53

S2: did you say were in megabytes or gigabytes?

00:05:56

S1: Well, from the research I've done, a traditional phone line call of an hour would be about 3.5 megabyte. It would cause about 3.5 megabyte of data. A typical Zoom or a Skype. Just audio for an hour would be somewhere around 27 megabyte. So about 10 times more, nine times more so than. So, you know, because phone lines are designed for audio, whereas the web is designed for everything, so it's not as efficient as any one thing, so to speak.

00:06:38

S2: So let me see if I can break down what I understand. The main energy guzzlers are OK. First, we start with everyone having a device in their hands or on their desktop. And that device has to be manufactured, and that is called embodied energy or embedded energy, and there are also, of course, extractions involved, and I'm going to get back to that and talk more about embodied energy. But that is one main guzzler, basically manufacturing each device and then manufacturing each part for the infrastructure that makes the communication the machine to machine communication possible. Then we need access networks, so in order for me to connect to the internet I need, I'm on the corded system here. I'm on a desktop. I don't own a mobile device, but I've got a modem and then it connects to an internet server, and that internet server connects to your internet server, you know, across continents. So access networks are major. Just to clarify, mobile access networks use about 10 times as much energy as wired access. But that technology is changing. You would probably know way more than I do, but you need radio transmitters and battery backup and cellular antennas and all that stuff. But all of that takes manufacturing and then it takes energy. The third thing would be data centers, and that's where conversation will be recorded and then eventually people can access it by, you know, the the link that you provide. But it gets stored in a data center and data centers are everywhere. They're there at universities. They're in office buildings. Some of them are so large that they're visible from outer space and they're basically covered from floor to ceiling with servers, computers. And they get hacked. Those computers get hot, so they also need air conditioning. I believe that the air conditioners and swamp coolers take up about 40 percent of the energy used in the data center. All that air conditioning also uses water. I live in the high desert and we have Facebook planning really big data centers here, and it's hot here and the air conditioners take water. You begin to see how much it takes just to do this podcast. We because we have expectation, the internet being available 24 seven. We are asking for an awful lot of electricity that those are some of the the main guzzlers. I would still like to talk more about embodied energy, but I'm curious what your response is to all of these things because I

00:10:44

S1: know that mix makes a lot of sense. One of the things I learned about, you know, data centers recently is that and in many of their sustainability are renewable accounting models. They don't account for the servers, they focus on the electricity, which is obviously important. But a server can have, as you say, an embodied energy that then can create at least one ton of CO2 during its manufacture. Servers can be very intense electronics in manufacturing, and a lot of the data centers do not calculate the CO2 of their servers. They just it, and they pretend that problem doesn't exist. And yeah, and they ignore. They ignore the the embodied CO2 in the server in that and the data center is a factory of servers

00:11:48

S2: and they will. So let me talk a little about that. And also, I've heard and this is from someone who worked in a data center, that they would replace the servers every three or at most four years

00:12:02

S1: and sometimes what. And it's not uncommon they will actually destroy those perfectly working servers. They'll shred them for security reasons to to protect the data. So they'll take those those numbers, which are working perfectly well. And one of the reasons they changed them is is, as you said earlier, the twenty four the the guarantee of uptime. They're so terrified that they'll have downtime that they destroy things that are still working perfectly just in case they might stop working perfectly.

00:12:41

S2: Wow. OK, I have two things here. So one, you're saying that life cycle analysis is not considered with data centers, they're not looking at what goes into manufacturing the servers. They're only looking at the operational time. And do they look at the the energy used to shred those servers or discard them? That also takes energy

00:13:17

S1: that I don't know about that side, you know, but from what I see are from what? And obviously, not every data center company there's. I've heard of some data. France seems to be particularly progressive in sustainability, that there are data centers in France that are seeking to have modular servers where they they don't they they will change disks and processors, but they'll keep the framework off the server so they

00:13:49

S2: can replace parts that are no longer up to production.

00:13:54

S1: So they're trying to create a much more modular type of environment. So there are some data centers that are beginning to think of problems. But in a lot of cases, when they're talking about so-called green data centers, they're not talking about the servers, they're just talking about electricity. And it's great that they're becoming more efficient. You know, with with electrical use, but most of the waste occurs in the device.

00:14:26

S2: So wait, wait, wait, you're saying so much that I have that I have response to and I'm taking notes so that I can get it. Let me. So let me backtrack. OK, I want to go to a figure from I Tripoli. Do you know I Tripoli?

00:14:48

S1: Yeah.

00:14:49

S2: So it's the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. And basically, they decide policy and they publish papers from engineers about everything related to electronics and electrical engineering. And I have a paper from Tripoli explaining that before. So if we look at the cradle to grave or some people refer to cradle to cradle energy use of the laptop, it could be of a refrigerator. It could be of anything. There's there's energy consumed from cradle to grave. Cradle to cradle means that the product is going to have some kind of recycling. Hmm. OK. If we look at that from and I'm, I prefer the term cradle to grave because. Even when there is recycling, there's still a profound amount of energy used and toxins emitted, greenhouse gases emitted. So if we do a lifecycle analysis of a laptop, according to AI Tripoli, eighty one percent of the lifetime energy used by that laptop. So there is the design of it, which is actually energy intensive. The computers used to design these products use a lot of energy. So there's design. Then there's extraction of raw materials, smelting of the raw materials transporting the raw materials, usually between continents. That takes a lot of energy. Then chemicals are manufactured, the solvents. The all of that gets transported to the, you know, manufacturing the transistors, major energy intensive. All of these parts get sent to the final assembly plant and then the product is put together in a box. Eighty one percent of the energy used by this laptop in its whole lifetime, 81 percent will be consumed before the end user turns it on for the first time. That's embodied energy. Yep, that means that 19 percent of the lifetime energy used goes to operating it, whether it's recharging it or just, you know, using it during or plugging into electricity during operation. And then also at Discard. There's yet more energy. Yeah, that's an astounding figure. Eighty one.

00:17:59

S1: Yeah. You no. I've seen similar to me. I have it now. Yeah, it's going to knock me out as well. Like one slight variation on that I learned recently was that in more commercial environments. So like a server, for example, it would be a lower figure because servers are more intensively used, so to speak, over their lifetime. They're there constantly are. So a kind of commercial it would probably have maybe 50 or 60 percent. And 40 percent.

00:18:37

S2: But if we replace it every three or four years.

00:18:42

S1: Totally totally opposite. Well, that that that is a compounded the problem. But yeah, I mean broadly for the majority of it. Totally right. About 80 percent, which is a measure like I mean, they say, you know, the calculations I've been doing and looking at a smart a smart phone about 60 cagy of CO2 and depending on what country you're in, about five cagy of CO2 a year. So you'd have to use a smartphone for 12 years to create as much CO2 as has been created when you've actually just started.

00:19:21

S2: One thing is talking about efficiency. You mentioned that term in terms of the electricity used by datacentres. Mm-Hmm. I go here to the Jevons paradox.

00:19:36

S1: Absolutely.

00:19:37

S2: And and it's not really what the what Germans understood in 1865 when he published the cool question. Is that okay? What you just manufactured might be much more efficient than a previous model, so we could say it's more efficient for someone to buy a pair of denim jeans than to grow the cotton, make the, you know, harvested and make the fabric themselves. And then so it up and, you know, figure out the pattern, so it up themselves. That would take a tremendous amount of energy. However, if you do that for a million people who are going to be wearing denim jeans, well, you're going to be growing a lot more cotton. You're going to have a lot more sewing machines and you're going to be transporting those products all around on trains that will be using coal or whatever they're using to get around. And so energy efficiency actually creates great. It increases use of energy and use of raw materials. Yeah. Now the same is true with electronics. So if we have a really efficient server or a really efficient smartphone, if we make one billion more of those, we are extracting a lot more because we are doing a lot more smelting. We're transporting a lot more between continents. These raw materials before they get to the assembly plant and then before they get shipped again to the end user. So energy efficiency increases energy use and it increases use of raw materials. There's no way around it.

00:21:54

S1: Yeah, that makes it the I mean, and the efficiency at one level creates waste at another level because, you know, you end up coming to a situation where you instead of keeping your genes for 10 years, you know, just keep them for two years because, hey, it's so cheap to buy jeans. Right? And then I mean, think of the human model. I mean, if aliens were looking at us and you were telling them, Hey, we have this factory and we make jeans in it, and then when the jeans are finished, we send that to another section of the factory where we actually tear the jeans so as to make them look old. So we send them, we send it through another process. We've built another section of the fat. One section of the factory creates this beautiful new jeans, and then it's taken, and it's brought to another section of the factory where we tear the jeans. I mean, I mean, if you tried to present that into an international universal court presided by aliens that say these humans, they're not, they're bad news, you know? You know, they're the only species that would come up with an idea like that, you know, is just, you know, it's not good news for any planet.

00:23:25

S2: Yeah. And I say, OK, so now obviously the difference between manufacturing denim jeans and distributing those around the world. I mean, I don't know. I know the dyes are very toxic. But in one smartphone? There are there are more than 1000 substances that go into one smartphone. Yeah. Each of those has its own energy intensive toxic waste emitting greenhouse gas emitting supply chain. It's an international supply chain. And one of the things I've been getting to lately is that we all want to reduce our dependence on international supply chains. I don't know how that is possible right now, even for things like food and I mean, in order to get food. So my husband and I do, you know, we have a vegetable garden, which gives us great pleasure. We might grow two percent of our own food. And, you know, so that's not going to help in terms of climate change. I do. I'm also very privileged to live close enough to two grocery stores that I walk to, probably every other day. And again, the pleasure is mine that I can take that walk instead of getting into a car. But then when once I'm at the grocery store, even if I'm getting vegetables, they're shipped from a thousand miles away. I mean, very few of them are grown, say, within a 200 mile radius, you know, about 100 kilometers. And so even for things like food, I am completely dependent on an international supply chain. If I was going to commit myself to local products only, I would have to stop all this communication that we're doing right now and my publishing on the internet because it's so dependent. I'm calling now a corporate techno global super factory.

00:26:06

S1: It's it's it's amazing. I mean, it's just looking up at the page, the article about, you know, the materials in the phone. If we just restart, maybe looking at the, you know, the case here, if you think of the case, that's purely just one material, but it's not, is it?

00:26:29

S2: It's well. And what I've listed there, I hope, you know, please feel free to post it with the podcast that might list about 100 of the the substances in one phone. Yeah, it's it's going to be. That's that's a very small list compared to what's really in the phone. And then if we remember that the phone cannot function unless you've also got the access networks and the data centers, and those are just major major consumers of energy. And I can't even imagine the kinds of things that go into this, the substances that go into making those servers and and the air conditioners and all of that, you know, and the buildings, I mean, the steel in the cement, in the buildings e-waste.

00:27:35

S1: I mean, that was one of the big shocks for me, like over 50 million tons and every year and somebody I read somewhere, they said that's the equivalent of of dumping a thousand laptops every second, like every every second, a thousand laptops dumped. If you want to get to 50 million tons and that, you know, since 2007, I think about 15 billion smartphones have been manufactured. It's it's an enormous. And then they only last a couple of years. You know, they're they're deliberately designed to fail.

00:28:19

S2: One of the things I like to, you know, ask is, OK, what could we do to reduce this profound amount of consumption and degradation, basically? And one of the things you keep talking about is modular electronics, where? Parts are replaceable. Hmm. That would be great. Again, it's these are all dense, but you know, they're they're hardly anything, but maybe they would add up. And then I think if we looked at. If we required lifecycle analysis, so when you say that calculations of data centers, energy use only includes the operational time. It doesn't recognize what went into manufacturing those servers or replacing them or discarding them. If we can look at if we can begin to recognize the energy that goes into extracting materials and refining them and assembling them, I think that would help change our thinking. And that's what's really needed because all of this stuff is invisible to us. And so how you start to recognize it?

00:29:59

S1: But is somebody suggested we should go back to the old phone company model where you didn't own the phone from Dell or from or from? Com As it's called in Ireland. And you know, and the phone was built, you know, to, you know, to outlast a nuclear war. I mean, these these these were serious, highly stable, durable phones because, you know, they didn't want to be replacing them. We need a real.

00:30:34

S2: Yeah. But let me say a problem there, and we sort of have that right now in the United States. When we give children in schools, we give them Chromebooks, laptops and sometimes we give them hotspots along with it. And but then Chromebook will supposedly be owned by the school system. Yeah, but Google will own the software. Yeah. And Google will collect data about the child. So, you know, preferences for marketing profile.

00:31:10

S1: I mean, Google and Facebook are ad tech companies. I mean, I mean, they are, you know, that's a whole other scale, a problem, you know? But but if you if that means there's so many problems that need to be addressed. But if we if we incentivize longevity and you know, designers have to, you know, technical designers, engineers have to start thinking about, you know, this needs to last 20 years. How do we design it? This needs to last 30 years, how do we design it to last 30 years? Because now they're being mandated to create things that will only last two years or three years or a maximum of four or five years. So I mean, when you get that environment where you've got a very high, as you say, embodied energy in the manufacture and you combine that with a low lifecycle and you combine it with with very little recycling, you've got the perfect, you've got the circular economy of waste, you know, the perfect circular economy of waste. It's it's you've got a triumvirate of destructive forces at play.

00:32:27

S2: Yeah. Well, I will say when I put that list together, which we'll post on the podcast of what goes into a smartphone, I had this clear dream that if every smartphone user could research one substance that goes to their phone, we'd begin to have something like enlightenment.

00:32:50

S1: It would be a great project and and maybe some schools. Yeah, we'll take that up. And you know, I think it's it's it's it's, you know, it's a really interesting idea to tell the story. So where do you stand in relation to story? I mean, one thing that I was a little bit familiar with, but that I learned from yours. Let's say I'm just looking at call 10. Tell us a little bit about why that just one of the thousand materials in a phone. Tell us a little bit of the story of coltan.

00:33:26

S2: So coltan is mined mostly in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It's actually a combination of cold column bite and tend to light. When it's refined to a powder, it holds charge, it's so it goes into batteries in smartphones and electric shavers and other mobile devices. More people have been murdered over coltan than any other single event since World War Two. We're talking about more than 10 million people. Somebody asked me, You know, how does this happen? My understanding is that Democratic Republic of Congo, which is really in the heart of Africa. Rich, rich, rich with force. And, you know, diamonds and cobalt and coltan. All of these things that we now value. And people from other countries from Europe and China who have come and said, Oh, OK, I'm interested in what's under this dirt. I'm going to start mining and I will need miners. And then they they gather helpers. And before you know it, because there is so much money involved and so much disruption of. People's communities with murders have taken place in 2018. Denis Mukwege, who's an M.D., was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for repairing the vaginas of women who had been brutally raped over coltan. It is a major, major problem and I'm not surprised that you hadn't heard of it before because there's very little that's reported about it, even though it has such a tremendous impact on so many people's lives.

00:35:47

S1: I read that after saying that that it's not just humans, but the wildlife, the western and eastern lowland gorillas, the famous gorillas are their habitats are being decimated with coltan mining as well. Yeah. So it's it's and, you know, do what you see as well, and you know, I am reading these books on de-growth at the moment as well. That is that oftentimes we take the raw materials out of the global south, turn them into products somewhere else in the global south to poor. Then they get used in the global north, and then they often get shipped back as waste to the very countries that they originally mined in to pollute the rivers and destroy and to be smelted by children. So we get at one end of the production chain children digging, you know, in in in the effort to get these raw materials. And then finally, they come back as an old smartphone. And the children burn the smartphone to get the materials back out of them to send back to the to the north. You know, and that's why in place in the United States, in Ireland, we say, well, things have got better. You know, the pollution levels have declined and you know, there is the world getting better. Well, we've outsourced our pollution

00:37:26

S2: and and so there again, if we can look at life cycle analysis from cradle to grave. So for example, if we're manufacturing electric vehicles and we say these are green and clean. However, when we say that we have not recognized what goes into manufacturing those vehicles or their batteries or their chargers or the power plants that keep them recharged. So if we could recognize the full life cycle of extraction and energy use and worker hazards, then we would not be able to say that something is sustainable. We would not be able to say that it's green or clean or zero emitting or net neutral or carbon neutral, anything like that.

00:38:22

S1: I've been checking these, you know, these figures for the relationship, you know, the the amount of CO2 created per kilowatt hour of electricity. And some countries like, oh, in Norway, it's it's 20 and in Iceland, it's it's zero. Like, how can it be zero? How can you have a figure for zero in these? And as far as I can understand, it's zero because they don't account for the further cement that was used to create the dam for the water, the hydro electricity. They just they just measured the production of the electricity and that it's 100 percent created by way and it's 100 percent water. Oh, you're going to get a zero score. So we're not. There's a lot of there's a lot of creative accounting going on in in this sustainability world.

00:39:23

S2: I'm interested in taking responsibility for myself. That's that's a basic thing I like to do in my life. And right now, that means becoming aware of my impacts as I use computers. And at the same time, I recognize that I can't really function in this society if I don't use a computer. Yeah. So that's a conundrum that I live with.

00:39:58

S1: You know, I grew up in a small farm in Ireland. We didn't even have tractors, so I spent what I was quite young. I spent all summer days just walking around a field of hay with a fork. And then, you know, it's not a fork at the table. Turning hay. And if you've done that for a while and we there was a farmer up the road who had a tractor and rollers and things like that. And occasionally the farmer up the road would be kind and he'd you'd see his tractor coming in the field and it would be so exciting because he he would do in 15 minutes what would spend take us a day and a half or or two days to actually do so. I don't know. I don't want to return to that. Like, I've been there manually working the farm, and it's no fun. So I like technology, but it's it's it's within reason. It's not that we shouldn't have a computer. It's not that we shouldn't have the internet. But I've been doing these calculations on, on, on photographs and. According to my calculations, we took more photographs in 2020 than in the entire 20th century.

00:41:18

S2: Oh, do you? Could you send that to me? I would love to see that.

00:41:22

S1: I'd say I haven't fully finished the research on it. I will send it when I've finished it. Totally. But but in the current event, we're taking about 1.4 trillion photos a year, according to the sources I have. And in the entire 20th century, we took about 1.2 trillion, or 1.3 trillion felt like it's so it's not. I'm not saying don't take photos, but like, do we really need to take one point four trillion photos every year?

00:41:53

S2: Wow, that's astounding. OK, I'll tell you another figure I just learned maybe this can help us bring this to a close. If I so my husband and I live in a we have four rooms. We rent this house and we have a refrigerator and a washing machine. We have a dryer that I do not use. I hang the the clothes to dry. I've got this computer. Of course, we have a radio. We have a DVD player. We have a blender and an oven and a stove top. OK, if we have lights, so I'm going to call this an average household, we don't have a television, but if I were going to get rid of the electricity, I would need forty one servants to provide everything we have here like to, you know, to harvest the wood and split it up and burn it to keep the fire going during the winter, to blow the fans during the summer, to preserve the food, to wash the clothes we would need. Forty one servants to keep this household going well and that that fits with what you're saying, you know, you needed to do on the farm with the pitchfork to keep your farm going. You know, for one and a half,

00:43:44

S1: it's not no technology, but it's technology within reason. Yeah, we don't, you know, maybe one point four billion photographs and we'd be happier because most of the people I know, my wife loves taking photographs, but sometimes she disappears literally for a couple of days to try and organize and delete the ones that that she's you can, you know, because it has just overloaded her, you know, to a point where she can't find the good ones. And you know, we have become such creators. We're not just consumers anymore, we're creators. You know, we consume ourselves and our friends, you know, in the process and a lot of the stuff that we create or whatever that we run through, you know, it's not it's not very good. And so we could have like, you know, you're holding on to your computer. There was a study done by, I think they called the UK Green Alliance and they said if you were to keep a laptop from it for a sustainable period so that you know, it depreciates its cost, its CO2 was was spread in a reasonable way across time. It would be about 20 years, you know, and you'd need to keep a fridge for, I don't know, 12 years or 14 years. So, you know, we're now we're keeping the average laptop for about four years, four and a half years. So we're it's not that we shouldn't have laptops, but we need laptops that last 20 years. We need phones that last 12 years.

00:45:22

S2: And then the when we put in yet another generation of access networks and like if we go to 5G, for example, know that will just create another intense layer of energy use and raw materials extracted and what we have and keep that in good repair, keep the exhaust, generate in good repair. We're still actually using 3G in some cases that so. So again, our thinking needs to change so that we, we make use of what we have and we can teach young people to learn, to become good mechanics and to repair what we have. Exactly.

00:46:16

S1: Yeah. Yeah. And that we have enough, you know, then when will we have enough? I mean, it's like, you know, I think like, I look at myself here now and I work on the web. I don't need 5G. I don't think, what the hell am I going to use this for? Look, I'm perfectly happy with what I have

00:46:35

S2: 4G, so make. Miguel Coleman has written about that, that that 5G is excellent within a factory to support to support communication between robots. But we don't need to distribute it internationally or around a city, for example, or a neighborhood. We can there. What we have is sufficient, but within a factory. OK, fine. A private network might make use of it.

00:47:10

S1: You know, you're a model. You and your husband, you know that you know, the rest of the world needs to begin to look to. You know that we can live well, we can live well.

00:47:26

S2: You know, I'll say people have been saying this lately that we're a model. And I'll tell you, I don't consider us models. And here's why. When I was, I spoke. I had great. Privilege. Three years ago, I spoke at the United Nations and I met Samir due to who co-founded India Climate Justice, and he explained to me that in Bangladesh, people use per year 300 Kgosi. That's 300 kilograms of oil equivalent per year. In India, people use 600 Kgosi per year, 600 kilograms of oil equivalent. In the United States, the average person uses 6000 cargo per year. So if I'm interested in balance ecologically and for, you know, for all people to have running water and toilets and electricity for lights, that means that I must reduce my consumption drastically. And this is we are not models here. We we're I'm still dependent on that international supply chain factory system to provide

00:49:09

S1: in the context of our imperfect world and where we're at and where most of the rest of people are at your model. You know, we have so much farther to go. We will never agree or to take 50 years or 70 years, even if we change now to really reshape and restructure things. But I think you have done immeasurably more than 95 percent of people, you know. And still, I know, as you say, still way off the mark of of, you know, rebalancing the, you know, the art and sustainability. But all we can do is, you know what we can do. And you know, I'll tell you if everyone in the United States or in Ireland or Germany or France had done what you, your husband and you have done, we we would be we would be further on the road.

00:50:10

S2: Well, I'll say two things. One, I think the the most significant thing I've done is question my assumptions. And so I started hearing 25 years ago that using a computer was green and clean. And I started saying, Really? Is that true? That's the only question I'm asking. Is that true? And then this information has come to me just from asking, Gosh, is that true? And then I will tell you, if you make me the leader of the world, that's a joke. Of course, it's not a job I want, but if you do it, I would make sure that every household got at least two raised beds with insulating covers and that the soil would come from compost. And I am blessed because in my city we have a compost place where this man collects kitchen scraps from all the restaurants around town and makes fantastic compost, which you can buy. And it's wonderful nutrient dense soil for growing vegetables. And we have our own compost, too with worms, but it's very even though we feed that compost a lot every day. It's much better to get it from this, this place that you know he's got a great system, right? And anyway, so I think that's a start and may every child learn to grow at least three vegetables. And and also do reading, rath, reading, math and writing on paper before they get electronics. So those are some of my dreams.

00:52:10

S1: If you're interested in these sorts of ideas, please check out my book Worldwide Waste A jury offered dot com to hear other interesting podcasts. Please visit this insect. Dot com.

John Carter
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ipsum blandit at sed a, vulputate eget. Integer in egestas rutrum risus tortor. Augue sed ac magna semper vitae, orci morbi auctor. Diam dui ut ut purus aenean volutpat.

Our courses

We provide remote, flexible training options to help you grow your design and innovation capabilities. We also offer bespoke training programmes for teams and organisations on any of our courses.

View all courses
Launchpad - Become a podcaster
Blended Learning
Launchpad - Become a podcaster
This is a course-prototype. You will learn about creating a podcast within 5-weeks. Apply today to be considered.
Gerry Scullion
TRAINER
Gerry Scullion
Trauma Informed Design Essentials
Blended Learning
Trauma Informed Design Essentials
If there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it is that we must anticipate and plan for trauma as it emerges in our work, our lives and the lives of those around us.
Rachael Dietkus
TRAINER
Rachael Dietkus
Introduction to User Experience
Video Course
Introduction to User Experience
Our 11-module course is made up of nearly 8-hours of video content, including design theory, practical examples of user experience, why businesses love UX, design research, prototyping, over the shoulder examples on how to use certain methods, and prototype validation.
Gerry Scullion
TRAINER
Gerry Scullion