A recent TH article suggested that flesh and blood planet dwellers (humans) may soon be competing for resources with electronic machines (computers). A recent report from CNN just drives it home; global mobile phone use will top 3.25 billion users in 2007, mostly due to demand from China, India, and Africa. That's about half the world's population with a cell phone.
The similarities between cell phones and babies are many. They both require you to keep them powered continuously. They both get born - cell phones at about 1000 phones a minute, based on subscriptions and babies at about 180 per minute, over five times slower. Strangely, cell phones are also like babies in that you can have more than one. In fact, over 30 countries already have a saturation rate of over 100 percent, meaning there are more cell phones than people in these countries. Finally, they both seem pretty indispensable; a recent British survey suggested that one third of those polled wouldn't give up their phone for a million pounds. Let's hope they say that about their kids.
Is it a crisis? Well, the average cell phone uses about 3 watts, and there is the power and associated with charging it, the cost of running the towers, and the costs to actually make the phone. The cost of the baby is a few hundred calories a day, plus the caloric manufacturing costs. These facts and figures constitute the typical environmental scenario - small increments that add up big - but unless you are a believer in unlimited energy, the smart bet is the one where we ultimately have to stop making electronics, or babies. : CNN