#1 Posted by oldschool (7264 posts) -

I did not know this, but the Playstation contains an element called coltan.  Almost all the coltan comes the The Democratic Republic of Congo and is mined illegally.  They burn the forest and strip the soil for coltan.  In doing this, they kill rare and endangered gorillas.  Apparently there is a perfectly good substitute in a ceramic transistor, but it isn't being used enough.


Quote:
"Kids in Congo were being sent down mines to die so that kids in Europe and America could kill imaginary aliens in their living rooms," claims British politician Oona King, a Labour Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow from 1997 to 2005.

Quite sad really and certainly made me stop and think.  So often we western consumers in reality have blood on our hands for the items we desire (like coffee and chocolate).

To be fair on Sony, mobile phones are probably the biggest user of coltan, so at least make sure you recycle your mobile to ensure that the coltan is extracted and reused.

How many of us are actually aware of the story behind coltan?

#2 Edited by DeadMonkeys (825 posts) -

Oona King huh? Moar liek Fabrikashun Gonzales.

#3 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

Old.

#4 Posted by PureRok (4235 posts) -

April Fool's!

#5 Posted by oldschool (7264 posts) -
Meowayne said:
"Old."
Which is why I said that I did not know this, not that it is new.  I must have been living under a rock.  I am most likely correct in saying that many of us never heard about this.

PureRok said:
"April Fool's!"
That was yesterday, and no, this is a real news story.  I only found out because it was part of a news story on Australia's.\,  The World Today, on the ABC.
#6 Edited by Linkyshinks (9880 posts) -

There's no April fools here >_>, this is in fact true. Coltan is a compound of Niobite and Tantalite

I was not aware it was used in PS2 though.


What's happening in the Congo is terrible, and it's due to many much wanted natural resources the country has, including this one. It's having a very destructive effect on all those that live there, not just the wildlife and the precious Gorilla's. The greed is fucking up that country severely and many people are dying in a war that is essentially about taking control of the resources.

Oona King used to be my local MP when I lived in East London during my University days.

#7 Posted by PureRok (4235 posts) -

I just live with this saying passing through my head at everything I read, see, or hear:

"Who cares? I don't."

#8 Posted by Alex_Murphy (1184 posts) -
oldschool said:
"make sure you recycle your mobile to ensure that the coltan is extracted and reused."
Never! I save my old phones so I can look back and laugh at what used to be cutting edge. And really, if this stuff is so valuable that kids and gorillas are being killed for it then the idea that I would give it away for free is even more ridiculous.
#9 Posted by oldschool (7264 posts) -
Linkyshinks said:
"There's no April fools here >_>, this is in fact true. Coltan is a compound of Niobite and Tantalite
I was not aware it was used in PS2 though. What's happening in the Congo is terrible, and it's due to many much wanted natural resources, including this one. It's having a very destructive effect on all those that live there. The west's greed is fucking up that country severely. It's being bled.Oona King used to be my local MP when I lived in East London during my University days."
The west's greed is the cause of most of the world's problems.  I sell coffee and chocolate, but I am confidant that it isn't sourced from child slaves on the east of Africa.  Can't be sure though.  Then there is the sweatshops we get our clothing from.  Is there anything we do that doesn't destroy the world? 

Western governments should be more proactive in enforcing change by making certain products illegal.  Big business has too much say in government.

No easy answers.
#10 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

OOoh... you'd be my best friend if you were around :(
Coffee and chocolate mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

#11 Edited by Linkyshinks (9880 posts) -

In truth it's not just the west, India, China and Japan's economies are very dependent on the mineral given their investment in electronics. The alternative which can be used is more expensive...

What's happening in the Congo right now is shambolic, it's a dirty stain on this world and it bares testament to how this world works. It's little talked about by the powers that be, because nobody wants to kick up a fuss when they have their own interests to consider.

I could post some nasty videos here, but there's no need to sour this thread. All I will say is that what's happening in Congo is shocking, and everyone knows about it, yet nothing is done

#12 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

And then you're supposed to believe when something does happen in another part of the world, which coincidentally holds certain interesting materials, it's purely done to save and protect people from tyranny and harm... When you get what you want, there's no reason to save anyone...

#13 Posted by Jayge_ (10221 posts) -
oldschool said:
"
How many of us are actually aware of the story behind coltan?

"
I am. It's fairly old news. I was pretty sure Sony put out something that said they wouldn't be using it anymore in future products. I think it was a PS2 only thing.
#14 Edited by oldschool (7264 posts) -
Al3xand3r said:
"OOoh... you'd be my best friend if you were around :(Coffee and chocolate mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm"
Only if you like the product made by a certain company based in Switzerland :-)

I thought that you Greeks like your coffee short and strong?
#15 Edited by PenguinDust (12510 posts) -

It's sad but I think it ranks pretty low on the list of cases organizations like Amnesty International [http://www.amnesty.org/] and Human Right Watch [http://www.hrw.org/] are trying to amend.  The situation in Darfur, Sudan alone has been a disgrace to humankind for years.

Online
#16 Posted by brukaoru (5079 posts) -

I had heard about this a while ago, but it wasn't as big of a shock to find out since other products from various companies contained coltan as well. If the PS2 wasn't so popular, they probably wouldn't have used coltan, or would have needed much less. Sad either way, but it seems Sony is using coltan from a variety of sources now.

#17 Posted by William (441 posts) -

I guess i'll get a ps3 then.

#18 Posted by kashif1 (1428 posts) -

what exactly does the stuff do anyway

#19 Posted by Diamond (8634 posts) -

When surrounded in an electromagnetic field, Coltan provides the extra-dimensional capacity to render true 4D graphics, like only the Playstation 3 can do.

#20 Posted by SteamPunkJin (1286 posts) -

Coltan is also used in the majority of cell phones I believe.

#21 Posted by BiggerBomb (6944 posts) -

*Looks left and right, quickly, with a silly grin on his face*

That's why I play Xbox!

*Runs away*