Some environmental problems are hard to grasp. Some aren’t. Giles Slade nails it in the new Mother Jones:

“Yes, the secret is out. After 13 months of heavy use, the lithium-ion battery of the iPod can lose more than half of its functionality. You’ll find that even though you recharge more often, your iPod can fade out by the end of a long day. Simply put, even though an iPod can cost you $350, these digital music players are designed to be disposable.

“Then why not get a new battery? Good idea. But Apple deliberately seals the battery inside the iPod. Replacement costs $65 (a new 1-gig iPod shuffle costs $79), takes several weeks, and worst of all—because the new battery comes in a refurbished and wiped-clean iPod—you’ll lose all your songs.”

I’d love to see someone YouTube a parody of those Mac and PC commercials with this in mind. And it’ll be even better when someone figures out how to make money without ripping off the customers and filling up the landfills.