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The Downside of Smart and Green Technologies

February 21, 2021

Smartphones in use at railway station, Author, Source (CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication)

We cannot, it seems, live without the latest technological devices:  computers, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, smart locks, smart doorbells, smart thermostats, smart refrigerators, smart speakers, and virtual assistants to coordinate them all.

We are, meanwhile, being told that “green” technology is the wave of the future; that electric cars are the ethical choice [1].

But there is a hidden cost to this technology.

Rare Earth Minerals Lost

Irreplaceable rare earth minerals like cerium, dysprosium, indium, neodymium, praseodymium, and terbium are being depleted for our smartphones, flat screen TVs, electric cars, solar panels, and wind turbines [2A][3].

Pollution Increased

Unfortunately, the refinement of rare earth minerals for so called renewable energy produces toxic byproducts.  The Chinese mines and factories churning out these gadgets for sale to the West are generating pollution on an epic scale [2B].

Slavery and Child Labor

Worse still, global supply chains extending into the United States for smartphones and designer clothing far too often rely on slave or child labor [4].

Biblical “Destroyers of the Earth”

The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth” (Rev. 11: 18 ESV).

The Book of Revelation predicts that those characterized as “destroyers of the earth” will, themselves, be destroyed.  This verse is popularly understood to refer to destruction of the environment, and earth’s natural resources.

Tragic though it may be, the destruction of the earth’s physical environment reflects an even more profound spiritual corruption.

While man was charged with stewardship of the earth, the destroyers of the earth are the nations in rebellion against God, responsible for destroying the earth by means of the seven plagues God visits on it [5].

That is not, however, the end of the story.  The 24 elders make their statement about the destroyers of the earth in response to the sound of the seventh angel’s trumpet.  It is that trumpet which heralds the Second Coming of Christ.

[1]  The Nature of Cities, “Smart vs. Green:  Technology Paradigms Battle It Out for the Future City” by Sarah Hinners, 9/16/19,

[2A and 2B]  BBC, “The Dystopian Lake Filled by the World’s Tech Lust” by Tim Maughan, 4/2/15,

[3]  Clearworld, “Renewable Energy Requires Rare Earth Minerals – China Holds Most of Them”,

[4]  MSNBC, “Invisible Hands:  Child labor in the US and around the world”, 11/13/18,

[5]  Dialnet, “The ‘Destroyers of the Earth’ in Revelation 11, 18 – Who are they?” by Eliezar Gonzalez,


From → Christian, Religion

  1. If I ever need a lawyer, you’re on my list! 😉

  2. I got a lot from “The Destroyers of the Earth” that you referenced. Thank you!

  3. Allan Halton permalink

    “Tragic though it may be, the destruction of the earth’s physical environment reflects an even more profound spiritual corruption.” That is the real problem, Anna, and because of it the tenant that the Landlord left in charge of caring for His property has all too often been irresponsible, he has badly failed his duties, to the extent of rebellion against the Landlord, proclaiming that the planet is not the Landlord’s in the first place but is his own to do with as he sees fit.

    Whatever will the tenant do when the Landlord returns, unhappy with what He sees is going on?

    • The wicked will see it and be grieved; He will gnash his teeth and melt away; The desire of the wicked shall perish” (Ps. 112: 10).

  4. I am so grateful that my son, now in his early 40’s, is embedding this challenge in his own life and young children, viz. our stewardship of the ecology. N.T. Wright, the British theologian, has been hugely influential in my own thinking in this regard. After all, we pray every day, ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’ Jesus, the Chief Gardener, should know about these things. The redemption story begins with a garden, Israel failed as a garden, Jesus suffered in the garden, he triumphed in the garden by his resurrection, now the Church is his garden (Jn. 15) and he will establish a new heaven and new earth according to his great Revelation given to his humble servant, John. Great privilege (this beautiful earth) carries with it great responsibility. I think we have to pray and live in hope, otherwise our faith is vain. It’s what carried Viktor Frankl through Auschwitz.

    • Beautifully expressed, Erroll. Frankl’s book “Man’s Search for Meaning” is a long-time favorite of mine.

    • Allan Halton permalink

      I wish there was a “double-like” for this one, Erroll!

  5. A few months ago I watched Michael Moore’s ‘Planet of the Humans’ in his Youtube channel (now removed). It was just so heartbreaking. What we’re made to think is a move to sustainability really isn’t, not to mention the politics behind.

    • Up here, we have near-monopoly corporate news-media (i.e. Postmedia’s ownership of almost every major print publication in Canada) who are formally allied with one of the planet’s greatest polluting solid forms of “energy” and the most polluting form of crude oil — bitumen crude oil, a.k.a. tarsands.

      During one of its presentations, it was stated: “Postmedia and CAPP [Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers] will bring energy to the forefront of our national conversation. Together, we will engage executives, the business community and the Canadian public to underscore the ways in which the energy sector powers Canada.”

      Also, a then-publisher of a Postmedia national newspaper said: “From its inception, the National Post has been one of the country’s leading voices on the importance of energy to Canada’s business competitiveness internationally and our economic well-being in general. We will work with CAPP [Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers] to amplify our energy mandate and to be a part of the solution to keep Canada competitive in the global marketplace. The National Post will undertake to leverage all means editorially, technically and creatively to further this critical conversation.”

      • “Business competitiveness” and “economic well-being” only… sad really where corporations place their values. The news media has to re-visit their role as well. They are not to sell an agenda, rather, just tell us plainly what is happening.

        Thank you for sharing this info. Many of us will be the first to suffer the result of the earth’s destruction (we already are), but they will as well—not far behind.

      • This is such a flawed and broken world. Even when man attempts to do good, his actions often have the opposite effect.

      • Indeed, Anna. On our own we will always fall short. Our hope is in Christ–His redemptive work. I also love the passage in Romans 8.18-25 when the whole creation will also be set free from bondage and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. That must be the new earth. Bless you. ☘️

      • I agree. Bless you, too. 🙂

      • If I may say in closing, when it comes to capitalist society, I see the corporate CEO (figuratively) shrugging their shoulders and defensively saying that their job is to protect shareholders’ bottom-line interests. Meanwhile, the shareholder also shrugs their shoulders while defensively stating that they just collect the dividends and that the CEOs are the ones to make the moral and/or ethical decisions.

        Could the profit objective of a CEO’s job-description nature somehow be irresistible to him or her?

        The consequential case of Boeing 737 Max corruption particularly brings to mind the allegorical fox stung by the instinct-abiding scorpion while ferrying it across the river, leaving both to drown (the Boeing CEO being the scorpion, and the fox being the knowingly-flawed Max jet plane).

        Thank you for allowing me to speak in relative great length.

  6. “Biblical “Destroyers of the Earth” …

    Canada’s Conservative party’s previous leader, Andrew Scheer, his predecessor and thinly-veiled theocratic former prime minister, Stephen Harper, and Harper’s inner circle were/are aligned with the American Evangelical community and Republican Party: All held and politically practiced the general belief that to defend the natural environment from the planet’s greatest polluters, notably big fossil fuel, goes against God’s will and therefore is inherently evil!

    • I am not sufficiently familiar w/ these individuals or Canadian politics to comment. Stewardship of the earth is, however, a biblical principle. Of course, many distort and misinterpret Scripture for their own ends.

  7. Nice Blog..
    Thanks for sharing..

  8. How did you like Soroosh, so far? Much love from Toronto, Anna. Stay safe.

    • I enjoyed the book, and was happy to write the review, Laleh. It appeared 4/25 and 5/2, coupled w/ posts addressing some of the issues you address in Soroosh. You have a broad range of experience from which to draw, and a wealth of wisdom. I know you will have much success!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Downside of Smart and Green Technologies – Tonya LaLonde
  2. The Downside of Smart and Green Technologies • GrownTechie

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