Digital-Environment System – Interesting stories

This page provides links to interesting news stories and reports on aspects of the interface between digital technologies and the environment (listed in reverse chronological order), and is regularly updated by members of the coalition.

Return to Digital-Environment System Coalition

Spotting minuscule space junk that can sink satellites, Ben Spencer, The Sunday Times, 19 June 2022

EU to require single charger for all smartphones to combat electronic waste, France 24, 7 June 2022.

See also European Parliament News: Common charger: MEPs agree on proposal to reduce electronic waste, 20 April 2022

Royal Society of Chemists: new campaign highlights need for more sustainable electronics, May 2022

Thanks to Roger Harris for recommending this

Mine e-waste, not the Earth, say scientists, Victoria Gill, BBC News, 8 May 2022

‘Nature doesn’t fix itself fast’: Greenland weighs up economy v climate crisis, Laura Paddison, The Guardian, 7 May 2022

Thanks to Roger Harris for recommending this

‘Deep-sea gold rush’ for rare metals could cause irreversible harm, Rupert Neate, The Guardian, 29 April 2022

Thanks to Roger Harris for recommending this

US bans anti-satellite missile tests, Shiona McCallum, BBC News, 19 April 2022

The Future of Fast Online Delivery, From Drones to Robots Carrying Takeout, by Will Parker, The Wall Street Journal, 7 April 2022

Amazon to Spend Billions on Space Launches as SpaceX Ramps Up Satellite-Internet Service, by Micah Maidenberg, The Wall Street Journal, 5 April 2022

_carbolytics, an analysis of the carbon costs of online tracking, by Fernando Cucchietti, Joana Moll, Marta Esteban, Patricio Reyes, Carlos García Calatrava, 16 February 2022

Elon Musk: Starship rocket close to going orbital, Jonathan Amos in BBC News, 11 February 2022

See also detais of the US FAA environmental review.

SpaceX: Elon Musk loses 40 satellites and $25m, David Charter in The Times, 10 February 2022

Selection of new IAU Centre for the Protection of the Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Interference, International Astronomical Union, 3 February 2022

Satellite rescue service to become ‘AA of the skies’, Tom Whipple in The Times, 3 February 2022

How the game industry is fighting its carbon footprint, Polygon, 3 February 2020

Thanks to Michael Oghia for highlighting this story.

International Space Station will crash and burn in January 2031, Nasa declares, 2 February 2022, Jacqui Goddard in The Times

Chinese Satellite Reportedly Grappled, Moved Another Spacecraft Away From Orbit, 29 January 2022, Sputnik International

Elon Musk SpaceX rocket on collision course with moon, BBC News 26 January 2022

ScotWind offshore auction raises £700m, BBC News, 17 January 2022.

Battery costs rise as lithium demand outstrips supply, Rurika Imahashi, Financial Times, 11 January 2022

To be clean and green (and hit net zero), we first need to get dirty, by Ed Conway, The Sunday Times, 9 January 2022

eBario timeline history, a reflection on an environmentally conscious digital intervention developed in collaboration with indigenous peoples

Outcry over energy-sucking Facebook data centre that threatens Dutch green targets, by Bruno Waterfield, The Times, 2 January 2022

To survive and thrive, James Crabbe and Yue Xiaoguang, China Daily, 30 December 2021

China will continue to adopt initiatives to promote clean energy and international initiatives to foster better global environmental governance

Elon Musk criticised after China space complaint to UN, BBC News, 28 December 2021

Italy’s wind turbing refuseniks given blunt message, by Ben Hall and Davide Ghilione, Financial Times, 19 December 2021

Inmarsat launch seeks to bolster market position, Jonathan Amos in BBC News, 22 December 2021.

Russia’s anti-satellite test is a wake-up call to mankind, by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Financial Times, 2 December 2021

Embracing quantum technologies for climate change, by Christopher Payne-Dwyer, UKRI News, 25 November 2021

What would it take to make AI ‘greener’?, by Sarah Khatry & Edward Kwartler & Kay Firth-Butterfield & Mark Caine, GreenBiz, 24 November 2021

Thanks to Hari G. Harindranath for recommending this

Russian anti-satellite missile test draws condemnation, BBC News, 16 November 2021

OneWeb founder wants to flood space with 300,000 satellites from Rwanda, SamfordCrimson, 7 November 2021

Thanks to Steve Song for recommending this

Climate change: How technology is helping cities tackle climate disasters, BBC News, 24 October 2021

Interconnected: sustainability on the agenda, Michael J. Oghia, in Branch 2

Climate change: construction companies told to stop knocking down buildings, BBC News, 24 September 2021

Bitcoin mining produces tonnes of waste, BBC News, 20th September 2021

Tesla co-founder tackles EV’s biggest problem, Financial Times, 15 September 2021

Computer emissions ‘twice the level caused by airlines’, The Times, 11 September 2021; original paper by Freitag et al. here

WHC is proud to partner with IBM for the Chicago Metro IBM EdTech Youth Challenge (Registration by 1 October 2021)

Tech’s modular future, Chris Nuttall, Financial Times, 2 September 2021

Harnessing Artificial Intelligence to Accelerate the Energy Transition, World Economic Forum, 1 September 2021

Ten years for electric car to pay for itself in fuel savings, Emma Yeomans, The Times, 2 August 2021

The environmental impact of electric cars, Graeme Paton, The Times, 22 July 2021

Climate change: technology boosts efforts to curb tree loss in Amazon, BBC News, 13 July 2021

Apple founder Steve Wozniak backs right-to-repair movement, BBC News, 8 July 2021

Offshore wind farms ‘should pay compensation to communities’, Ben Webster, The Times, 8 July 2021

Deep sea mining may be step closer to reality, David Shukman, BBC News, 2 July 2021

Here are some of the most exciting green Technology Pioneers of 2021, Sean Fleming, World Economic Forum, 15 June 2021

The environmental impact of our devices: revealing what many companies hide, The Restart Project, 10 June 2021

G7: ‘Mount Recyclemore’ of leaders made from electronic waste in Cornwall, BBC News, 9 June 2021

Air pollution from reentering megaconstellation satellites could cause ozone hole 2.0, Tereza Pultarova,, 7 June 2021

How to protect birds and bats from wind turbines, Chris Baraniuk, BBC News, 4 June 2021

UK National circular economy research programme launches, UKRI, 28 May 2021

Carbon Prices now Apply to Over a Fifth of Global Greenhouse Gases, World Bank, 25 May 2021

Move to net zero ‘inevitably means more mining’, by Jonathan Amos, BBC News, 25 May 2021

Bitcoin Miners Are Giving New Life to Old Fossil-Fuel Power Plants, by Biran Spegele and Caitlin Ostroff, Wall Street Journal, 21 May 2021

Wall Street Journal Energy Report, material from November 2019 and May 2021

The big space clean-up – and why it matters, World Economic Forum, 20 May 2021, by Katharine Rooney

Höghastighetsbanor ger ingen positiv klimateffekt, Dagens Nyheter, 13 May 2021

(High speed railways don’t have a positive climate effect)

Electric cars: What will happen to all the dead batteries?, BBC News, 27 April 2021

Space junk map tracks 200 ‘ticking time bombs’, BBC News, Science and Environment, 26 April 2021

Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Facebook and Microsoft grant free patent access for low-carbon innovators, 22 April 2021

Do We Need To Worry That Zoom Calls Use Too Much Energy?, Peter Suciu in Forbes, 16 April 2021

Space Junk Removal Is Not Going Smoothly, Leonard David in Scientific American, 14 April 2021

Bitcoin mining in China will exceed energy consumption of 181 countries by 2024, study warns, Independent, 6 April 2021

Africa Data Centres to build 10MW Lagos facility, TechCentral, 6 April 2021, aiming to use solar energy

Companies back moratorium on deep sea mining, BBC News, 4 April 2021 – significant impact of mining the ocean floor for rare earth minerals to support digital technology and renewable energy

Astroscale, the British company on a mission to tidy up space, Ben Spencer in The Sunday Times, 14 March 2021

India Targets Climate Activists With the Help of Big Tech, Naomi Klein in The Intercept, 27 February 2021

Why should developing countries implement carbon pricing when even advanced economies fall woefully short?, OECD, 17 February 2021

The environmental idiocy of Tesla’s bitcoin bet, Financial Times, 14 February 2021

How Much Data is Consumed for 1-Hour of Video Conferencing on Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Slack and Hangouts?, 12 February 2021

Bitcoin consumes ‘more electricity than Argentina‘, BBC News, 10 February 2021

Turn off that camera during virtual meetings, 14 January 2021

Thanks for polluting the planet: emails blamed for climate change, Financial Times, 18 November 2020.

Sweden launches its ‘first’ wooden wind power tower, 1 May 2020