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Old 01-30-2002, 08:46 PM   #1
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Should we stop using cell phones?

Sure they're handy, but currently a war is raging in the Congo over land rites for the mining of the mineral coltan that is used to power these high tech devices.

see this article: http://www.npr.org/programs/re/archi...02.coltan.html

Besides what they mention in this article, the farming base of the region is threatened because there is far much more money to be made mining coltan (it's like panning for gold) than growing crops that are often just stolen by marauding troops.

Is death and destruction, ruination of habitat and animal species, and upset of local economy in the Congo an acceptacle price to pay for our modern convenience?

Discuss.
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Old 01-30-2002, 10:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by DebbieSG:
Sure they're handy, but currently a war is raging in the Congo over land rites for the mining of the mineral coltan that is used to power these high tech devices.

see this article: http://www.npr.org/programs/re/archi...02.coltan.html

Besides what they mention in this article, the farming base of the region is threatened because there is far much more money to be made mining coltan (it's like panning for gold) than growing crops that are often just stolen by marauding troops.

Is death and destruction, ruination of habitat and animal species, and upset of local economy in the Congo an acceptacle price to pay for our modern convenience?

Discuss.
Yes

CK
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Old 01-30-2002, 10:46 PM   #3
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I think they're annoying as hell. Useful, but annoying.

Imagine, though...what would happen if we stopped to think about what other countries have to suffer for our conviniences for once?

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Old 01-30-2002, 10:57 PM   #4
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Yes

CK
Well that settles it in my mind, CK.

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Old 01-30-2002, 11:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by LarryMullen's_POPAngel:
Imagine, though...what would happen if we stopped to think about what other countries have to suffer for our conviniences for once?
this is a valid question but the logic could be applied to many things in our lifestyle, especially a western lifestyle--ie (in all likelihood) significant amounts of people either have or will go through significant hardship for the clothes on your back, the computer you were using when you posted this message and many other facets of our lives.
the problem is not that what we consume causes hardship for others and environment, that is an extreme and unacceptable consequence of the real problem. this real problem, in my opinion, is that we as a society no longer make things, rather we have shifted production of all our goods to the cheapest possible location using the cheapest possible components.
to put it bluntly there are many other ways to power a cell phone, but to deliver it to market yesterday they had to go with whatever substance it is they are deriving out of the Congolese forest. if we as a society were willing to pay a tad more and/or wait a little longer the balance of quality of life in our planet would be a lot more equal than it is presently.
i use my cell phone more than anyone else and i have a very nice, feature packed phone that i paid a lot of money for, though i'm pretty sure bell mobility subsidized quite a bit of the cost in exchange for my monthly $$ bill. in truth i can no longer do without it. i wish it wasn't so.
it is my opinion, and a rather depressing one i know, that very few see the true direction of our society for it is rather dark.

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Old 01-30-2002, 11:05 PM   #6
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After reading the article, I feel this has a LOT more to do with greed and an ongoing, long-lasting civil war than our convenience features.

Perhaps an irrational fear that "coltan" would be in short supply drove the initial burst to look for the ore, but this is just tied into greed, a disrespect for the land and animals and this silly war. Take away the war, and I'm sure this wouldn't have been such a huge issue.

Helping Third World nations is an outstanding idea - but I often wonder if they can be helped. Will pumping $$ into an economy by forgiving debts really resolve anything? It seems to me that these countries really need a stable and CONSTANT leadership. Then, issues like coltan won't be destructive.
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Old 01-30-2002, 11:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by DebbieSG:
Well that settles it in my mind, CK.

I'm glad I can be so helpful.

CK
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Old 01-30-2002, 11:24 PM   #8
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"Perhaps an irrational fear that "coltan" would be in short supply drove the initial burst to look for the ore, but this is just tied into greed, a disrespect for the land and animals and this silly war. Take away the war, and I'm sure this wouldn't have been such a huge issue...It seems to me that these countries really need a stable and CONSTANT leadership"

Is coltan in short supply? Why is it worth so much??

The discovery of coltan has disrupted the stability of the government. Half of the country wants to have power over mining coltan.

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Old 02-01-2002, 10:37 PM   #9
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And now, a word from our sponsor:

" 'Mercy, mercy,' why didn't we hear it? 'Mercy, mercy,' why did we read it buried on the last page of our morning papers? The plan was drafted, drafted in secret.
Gunboats met the red tide, driven to the rum trade for the army that they created. But the bullets were bought by us, it was dollars that paid them.

"Please forgive us, we don't know what was done in our name. There'll be more trials like this in mercenary heydays. When they're so apt to wrap themselves up in the stripes and stars and find that they are able to call themselves heroes and to justify murder by their fighters for freedom.

"Please forgive us, we don't know what was done. Please forgive us, we didn't know. Could you ever forgive us? I don't know how you could. I know this is no consolation. Please forgive us, we didn't know. Could you ever believe that we didn't know? Please forgive us, we didn't know. I wouldn't blame you if you never could, and you never will."

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Old 02-01-2002, 11:05 PM   #10
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I saw this on TV, Debbie, and was rather shocked and angered at this information. Who determined to use this stuff anyway--DeBeers???? That this minute amount of metal should cause this much misery to so many people who are so poor and struggling to live their lives....it about made me want to give up my own cellphone. Tho it doesn't seem like giving up cellphones is a likely scenario, I hope they can find another much less rare component for the phones that people (now) can't seem to live without (even tho we did for how many thousands of years????)
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Old 02-03-2002, 02:35 AM   #11
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Yeh, Disco, I saw one segment of a six part story on the news, too. They showed a group of people standing around a couple of muddy holes with people digging with shovels. Then they showed unauthorized photos at an airfield of a bag of coltan that was so heavy two men were needed to pick it up.

Is there something wrong with this picture?
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Old 02-05-2002, 10:13 AM   #12
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Yes, we should, that is the right start.
If anyone really needs to continue to use them, ok. But then please implant a decent ringing sound. The conditionalizing of our ears by these beeps and bleeps is very painful, we are already surrounded by them. It is a new disgusting sound style.
So stop.
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