Review: Made to Break–Technology and Obsolescence in America

5 Star, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Economics, True Cost & Toxicity

Made to BreakPart of a Larger Story,

February 4, 2007

Giles Slade

This is one of the best of the “toxic tech” books in current view, by no means completely original, and certainly not the whole story. It gets five stars for its niche. In relation to other books, for example, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution; The Ecology of Commerce; The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals; Pandora’s Poison: Chlorine, Health, and a New Environmental Strategy; any of the books on Peak Oil, and the original book on the down side of industrialization, Manufacture of Evil: Ethics, Evolution, and the Industrial System it falls to a lower level.

What is most important is the emerging literature on Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things We should be LEASING tools and appliances with short lives. The manufacturer should–as that literature recommends–be required to take back the discarded item, and plan for upgrades that do not require the discarding of the entire unit.

See also:
High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health
Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power
A Consumer’s Dictionary of Household, Yard and Office Chemicals: Complete Information About Harmful and Desirable Chemicals Found in Everyday Home Products, Yard Poisons, and Office Polluters

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