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Music that pollutes.

I appreciated your article "Which is Greener: Pixels or Paper?" (November/December 2010). My beef at the moment is about portable music. It is an unnecessary luxury and the manufacture of the devices is highly polluting.

I recently read an article on the Grist website about the impact of the iPod. The coal that powers the manufacturing plant in southern China is mined in the north and shipped to the plant by truck and freighter. Then the plant emits twenty-five pounds of carbon dioxide while manufacturing your iPod. Within three weeks, that pollution is contributing to thirty percent of Los Angeles' smog. Transportation of the iPod to North America from China emits another ten pounds of carbon dioxide along the way.

China's energy needs are increasing. And, according to this article, there are plans to mine coal in Montana and Wyoming, ship it by train to Washington, and then across the Pacific to China. There, it will be used to manufacture iPods that will be shipped back to North America.

Factoring in the energy used to recharge the battery, the Grist article estimates that your iPod, over the course of its life, is responsible for two hundred times its weight in greenhouse gas emissions. Something to think about!

Chuck Erasmus,

Seattle, Washington, USA

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Title Annotation:Letters From Our Readers
Author:Erasmus, Chuck
Publication:Natural Life
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:May 1, 2011
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