For nearly one hundred years, industry had manufactured general goods by burning one pound of fossil fuel for every pound of plastic or metal product. A typical car, for example, required less fuel to build than it consumed during its lifetime on the road. The digital revolution has turned this equation upside down. A laptop requires 26.5 pounds of oil for every pound of computer. Given that most laptops don’t last more than three years, the majority of energy consumed in a computer takes place during its construction in Asian factories operating under slave-like conditions. Technological obsolescence may represent the greatest oil spill the world has ever seen.
From: Nikiforuk, Andrew. The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Servitude. Madeira Park, BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 2012. EPUB file.