Over the past few decades, technologies have made a few great contributions to the environmental protection. Renewable technologies have reduced the demand of fossil fuel; computer technologies have enabled paperless office into reality and thus decreasing the number of trees used to produce paper. Therefore, I have come in to believe that technologies will serve as a major role in protecting the environment, both in the present and future. However, due to certain limitations like political agenda in the current globalized world, the role of technologies may be suppressed and may only be fulfilled in the future.
One of the most significant technological advancement today that aimed to protect our environment is perhaps the availability and affordability of the improvised digital technology. Through the invention of computer and phone technologies such as phablet, we have reduced our reliance on paper which in turn saved our trees. As the internet and other social media like Facebook become widely available, we have exposed ourselves to various forms of environmental alerts through reading environmental articles and watching documentaries like David Attenborough’s Planet Earth. This helps us to be more socially responsible in the way we treat our environment. Hence, digital technology has helped to save the environment now by transforming the way we record information and provide an enormous medium to deliver the crucial environmental messages.
In addition, current technologies have been gradually transformed or invented to meet both human and environmental needs. This can be seen from the invention of what E. S. Stevens called bio-plastic in his book Green Plastic to the creation of Stellar, world’s first solar-powered family car. The former, a bio-degradable plastic that is only a bit expensive than the usual polyvinyl chloride plastic, and the later, a solar-powered vehicle that can go up to a speed limit of 120km/hr. They have allowed us to glimpse the capability of today’s technologies to protect our environment through substituting other environmentally-unfriendly but yet essential products. Adding to that, the creation of recycling technologies such as Reverse Osmosis (RO) that separated human waste from the water and the Twin-Chamber Melting Furnace (TCF) that recycled aluminum has proven to us the potential these technologies have in minimizing the environmental threats. By utilizing these technologies, environments can be better protected from dangers such as arsenic pollution.
But everything has two-dimensions and that is true for technology as well. One of the greatest problems to such inability of the current technologies to protect our environment is the insufficient energy generated from the renewable technologies. According to his book Sustainable Energy without Hot Air, David JC Mackay has made it clear that the amount of energy generated by renewable energy technologies can only...