Your smartphone will cost the earth because the future is nuclear

How much is your smartphone worth to you? Is it worth having a nuclear power plant built nearby or having nuclear waste buried in your neighborhood?

If you think this is a ridiculous scenario, think again. We have an electricity shortage in the world today – we can’t make enough of it to satisfy the ever-growing demand of the wireless ‘cloud’. And this is before the introduction of the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, ‘smart’ homes, ‘smart’ cities and the rest of the all-singing-all-dancing electric future.

The inevitable answer, according to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the U.S., is more nuclear power.

Think Fukushima, think Chernobyl, think Three Mile Island. No one in their right mind wants more nuclear, but in a world increasingly reliant on the wireless internet, there may be no choice but to risk it.

In a report published by the Washington-based National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy, Dr. Timothy Schoechle says the roll out of wireless technology has resulted in an “explosion” in energy consumption. Between five and 10 per cent of the world’s electricity supply is now needed just for the manufacture and operation of wireless infrastructure.

He writes: “The average iPhone, for example, uses more energy than a mid-sized Energy Star-compliant fridge, or about 361 kW-h, counting wireless connections, data usage and battery charging.”

The telecommunications industry makes great attempts to present itself as the ‘green’ alternative to nasty, dirty old fossil fuels. Don’t be fooled, says Dr. Schoechle, an international consultant in computer engineering and standardization.

He writes: “In the three years between 2012 and 2015 the wireless cloud increased its carbon footprint by the equivalent of adding 4.9 million cars to the road. Ironically, the global internet system is almost entirely dependent on an inefficient, polluting, and archaic energy source – coal.”

In his 156-page report entitled Re-inventing Wires: The Future of Landlines and Networks, Dr. Schoechle argues that this looming worldwide energy disaster can be averted by dumping wireless and opting for faster and far cheaper landlines instead.

Referring to the United States, he writes: “We are seeing the present national emphasis on wireless technologies because of the ‘triopoly’ of Verizon, AT&T and Comcast that dominates our access to the internet, imposes artificial scarcity, planned obsolescence and high prices to maintain their immense profits. It is in their interest to obscure the fact that advanced copper and optical fiber are far superior to wireless in both cost and performance.

“Government officials have been misled about the adequacy of wire communications. Legislators should stop enabling the wireless industry’s plans for massive new deployments of 4G LTE and soon 5G millimeter wave antennae throughout American neighborhoods, and instead commit to supporting reliable, energy-efficient and enduring hard-wired telecommunications infrastructure that meets the nation’s immediate and long-term needs.

“An advanced information highway is what is needed, not an inefficient and expensive ‘toll road’.”

In the light of the excessive energy consumption of wireless, a 2011 MIT report entitled ‘Why we still need nuclear power’, published in the journal Foreign Affairs and written in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, makes alarming reading.

In the report Dr. Ernest Moniz, Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems and Director of the Energy Initiative at MIT and a former Under-Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy, argues that increased nuclear power is the only affordable and practical way of meeting the country’s growing energy needs. Fossil fuels are unsustainable and alternative forms of electricity generation are too unreliable.

Dr. Moniz writes: “Electricity generation emits more carbon dioxide in the United States than does transportation or industry and nuclear power is the largest source of carbon-free electricity in the country. Nuclear power is also relatively cheap, costing less than two cents per kilowatt-hour for operation, maintenance and fuel.”

Be warned. Your smartphone will end up costing the earth. If you care about the future of this small, blue-green planet, use wired connections instead.

For products like those pictured above, and many others protesting wireless technologies and 5G, visit the Anti-Wireless Shop on Links from the home page of this blog.

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