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How Technology Impacts the Environment, Term Paper Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1473

Term Paper

Many people don’t believe that global warming is real, but there is a substantial amount of scientific evidence available that proves otherwise. It is essential that humans recognize their contribution to the decline of the environment and work towards making changes that will reverse this process. In particular, there are certain technologies that can be used to reverse the impacts that global warming has on the environment. The use of geoengineering techniques including carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management can help alleviate the consequences of climate change. There is a need to call attention to this climate issue so people can begin involvement in an effort to reduce environmental effects of greenhouse gasses. Furthermore, doing so will allow professionals to gain a better understanding of the negative impacts of these solutions in order to find a realistic answer to the global warming problem. While technology can be used to resolve the effects of global warming, it would be preferable to avoid using and resolve this environmental damage using natural solutions.

The evidence indicates that natural solutions to global warming can be solved by reversing the influence of the current agricultural techniques that farmers use. In an article entitled “Can Technology Save the Environment?”, Leo Schlesinger discusses that technology has allowed more crops to be harvested with less space being used. While this seems to be a positive benefit, Schlesinger explains, the current “take-make-dispose model” results in “One- third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted before it is eaten…40% of all produce is not eaten…in Europe 100 million tonnes are thrown away each year… over 840 million people go hungry each year” (Schlesinger, 2014, p. 1). This shows how technology has a negative impact on the environment. Overproduction leads to waste, which releases more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Thus, it would be preferential to utilize conventional farming techniques to reduce this carbon impact. The use of technology has made it easier than ever to contribute to environmental waste, which is adding to visible environmental damage today.

Global warming traps toxic gasses in the atmosphere, which is in part due to human inventions including factories, automobiles, and gas power. In his 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth”, former presidential candidate Al Gore states, “Global warming, along with the cutting and burning of forests and other critical habitats, is causing the loss of living species at a level comparable to the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. That event was believed to have been caused by a giant asteroid. This time it is not an asteroid colliding with the Earth and wreaking havoc: it is us” (Guggenheim, 2006). Many of our daily activities contribute to the increase of greenhouse gasses in the environment. Modern humans rely on many technological advances that personally benefit them but damage the environment. Factories, automobiles, and gas power all contribute to toxic gasses in the atmosphere. One fossil fuel by-product, carbon dioxide becomes trapped in the atmosphere when it is released and contributes directly to the planets rise in temperature. In addition, carbon dioxide creates holes in the ozone layer which exposes life on this planet to harmful UV rays. If people stop using technology such as automobiles, they will contribute less greenhouse gasses to the environment, which will help protect the planet.

New technologies are also negative for the environment because their creation reduces the amount of physical resources that are available in the environment, making it more challenging for plants, animals, and humans to survive. According to the author of “Technological Forecasting and Social Change”, there are many uncertainties that emerge along with new technologies (Foray & Gobbler, 1996, p. 8). Previously, people believed that natural resources were not exhaustible. However, in the wake of droughts and a lack of food available to support the population, we are gaining a new understanding that helps us understand the importance of protecting the environment. It took people until 1990 to recognize that there was a world energy source. Since we are running out of the basic resources that we need to survive, the problem is no longer a simple environmental issue but as a crisis that directly affect human survival. Technologies helped us to exploit energies we desire, but on the other hand, they also leave many negative impacts on our world. In order to change this problem, we need more natural solutions and to reduce the use of technology that contributes to environmental damage.

Some individuals disagree with the belief that technology is damaging for the environment because they think that it is possible to use technology to reverse the negative effects of greenhouse gasses. These individuals believe that it is possible to slow down the effects of global warming by taking advantage of more natural means. Professionals believe that in the near future it may be possible to capture carbon from the atmosphere and recycle it ourselves. Scientific processes that are in development include artificial trees, enhanced weathering, bio-energy with carbon capture and storage, biochar, and scrubbing towers. While humans will still have to limit the amount of fossil fuels they use, carbon capturing technology will allow us to still access some of the devices that make our lives easier while still protecting and reversing the negative effects that humans have had on the environment. However, it is important to consider that since these technologies do not exist at this current point in time, it is challenging to tell whether they will have more negative consequences on the environment. Therefore, it would be valuable to remain using natural interventions to reverse the effects of global warming than rely on these technologies to resolve this problem.

It is important for use to reverse the way that we think about our daily lives with respect to the environment. One way this can be done is by decreasing our use of automobiles. While these vehicles are convenient, it is important to consider the negative effects it has on our planet. Thus, we must focus less on convenience and more on how we can reduce our environmental footprints. Our health problems are also impacted by this. To resolve this problem, we can use the electric and hybrid cars that were introduced recently and vigorously promoted by government. These cars have the potential to allow us to continue using technology, while we continue to reduce our environmental impact in a way that will lessen the amount of carbon emissions that are released into the environment. Therefore, it is beneficial to alter the way that we think about and use technology to better protect the world in which we live.

Based on this understanding, it would be plausible to use a combination of natural solutions, including a reversal of current environmental practices in addition to growing technological interventions to reverse the problems seen in the environment. Some possible solutions could therefore include carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management because there are many natural ways for this removal to be done through either natural or technological means. It is important to do so by reducing the current use of technology and to focus more on how we as people can live more green lives. Technology is both positive and negative. If we want to continue living a modern lifestyle, we need to use the technology that we have in a more responsible manner. Thus, technology is able to damage the environment, but thoughtful use of technology could also contribute to the reduction of the global warming effects that we see today. If we take action immediately, we may be able to reduce the prevalence of these greenhouse gasses in the environment, which will help preserve the lives of millions of plants, animals, and people. Overall, the evolution of automobile is just the start. It is fortunate that we are beginning to make our move to fix the mess we have made. If we are all able to work together, we will be able to make reasonable change to the planet and protect it for the use of our children and grandchildren.

References

Foray, D. & Grubler, A. (1996). Technology and the Environment: An Overview. Retrieved from ftp://ftp.ige.unicamp.br/pub/CT002/sessao%2010/Foray%20&%20Grubler.pdf

Guggenheim, D. (Director). (2006). An inconvenient truth: A global warning [DVD].

Hollywood: Paramount.

Schlesinger, L. (2014). Can technology save the environment? Retrieved from https://agenda.weforum.org/2014/09/circular-economy-sustainable-planet/

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