Today I will present my research that I have done on Conflict Minerals. I decided to research about the Gold that is used in the MacBook Air’s that we use in school. Gold is one of the 4 main minerals that are used in technology. The 3 T’s (Tin, Tungsten, and Tantalum) and Gold. I will be explaining the problems with using gold in MacBook Air’s and my recommendations toward the school.
Gold makes a very important part of the MacBook Air, the wires. Gold is used in the wires because it conducts electricity well, it also is hard to rust which makes the wires more durable, and it is easy to bend and change form. Gold is mined all over the world. The biggest mines though are located in Pacific countries such as Indonesia, China, and Australia. But most of the conflict occurs in mines in Africa.
Gold is one of the most valuable minerals in the world. Because of this Gold is extremely expensive and the money gained from the gold could be used for bad purposes. In military-led mines in Africa, the minerals are usually smuggled across borders and then with the money gained these groups fund their military campaigns. This is a good example of what conflict minerals are.
Another big problem with mining large amounts of gold and using them in our technology is ethical issues. Which is obvious when you are digging enormous holes in the ground. Some of these issues are erosion, the formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of soil, groundwater, and surface water by chemicals from mining processes. Many of these issues have been occurring a lot these past years in areas with large mines.
Because gold is used on the MacBook Air the MacBook is expensive. The school has to spend a lot of money every year when they buy these computers. These MacBook Air’s cost more than the average computer because they contain more of these expensive minerals. This is another big problem for the school.
But even though there are many negative effects with gold inside the MacBook Air and its cost, I have some recommendations for the school that might be able to help solve some of these problems. Here are some of the recommendations.
One solution could be to buy computers from companies that use conflict-free minerals. One example would be Intel. Intel funds the mines in Congo where it gets its minerals from so that rebel groups would not be able to take over them and tax them because the mines would be owned by Intel and the people that work there would not be that poor.
Another solution to this problem is to buy computers that are cheaper than the MacBook Air. For primary school students, they do not need the latest technology to use when they do not use it that often. Windows and other computer making companies offer their computers for a much cheaper price than what the MacBook Air is sold for.
One more solution to this problem would be to just buy less of these products. Kids that do not use this technology could share between 2 to 3 kids. Also in secondary school instead of buying new MacBook Air’s every year, we could try to reuse these computers even more than we currently. MacBook Airs last a long time and for 6 and 7th grade we could get the old ones that the high schoolers used because we don’t use it as much yet.
I think that if we are able to make these solutions come true I think that we might be able to prevent conflict in mines in Africa. Also for the school, we would not have to pay so much money each year to give everybody the newest technology. Thank you.
“インテル: タブレット、2 in 1、ノートブック PC、デスクトップ PC、スマートフォン、サーバー、組込み機器 .” Intel. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
“Conflict Minerals 101.” YouTube. N.p., 18 Nov. 2009. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
“Conflict Minerals from the Congo to Your Cellphone.” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
@Lawrieongold. “Gold Mining’s Enormous Positive Impact on Global Economy – WGC.”Lawrieongold. N.p., 03 June 2015. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
“MacBook Air.” Apple. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
“Minerals in Technology – Mineral Resources for the 21st Century.” Google Sites. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
“The Real Price of Gold — National Geographic Magazine.” The Real Price of Gold — National Geographic Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.