It seems that the IT industry is missing out on an opportunity to 'help' sea creatures by dumping old computers into the ocean and creating an 'artificial reef'.
Every now and again I read a news article that sends so many bells ringing, I feel like Quasimodo. One that recently had this affect was in the New York Times, which explained how New York State had kindly donated hundreds of its old subway carriages to be used as an 'artificial reef'.
These old carriages — of which at least 666 have already been used to create an artificial reef (insert your own puns) — are "basically luxury condominiums for fish," according to the bloke in charge of the artificial reef program, who was quoted in the story.
Unfortunately, these fish mansions contain asbestos in the glue used in their floor panels and walls. However, we are told that this is not a problem because asbestos is only dangerous to humans if airborne. Luckily for us, fish don't have a problem with the stuff — if they did, I am sure they would have hired political lobbyists to fight their cause.
Tucked away at the end of the story, we are informed that some US states have "experimented with other types of artificial reef materials", which include "abandoned automobiles, tanks, refrigerators, shopping carts and washing machines".
For so long we have been searching for ways of recycling our old technology. Why didn't we think of this before? I reckon marine creatures would love old IT equipment too. I hear fish adore sucking on old lithium batteries. The innovative ones actually make decorative jewellery from the precious metals used to make circuit boards.
I'd like to suggest we help out our American friends' quest to attract more fish to their 'underwater deserts' — by volunteering our old IT equipment.
Next time your datacentre needs a refresh, just load all the old hardware onto a huge ship, take it to the Delaware coast and chuck the lot overboard — for the sake of the fish, damn it.