Reverse time a good number of years back when technology started its journey in the human world, and you’ll find mankind converting natural resources into simple tools. Defined in simple terms, technology is the making, using and knowledge of machines, tools and techniques aimed at solving a problem or to perform a function smoothly. In the history of human race, the entire thing began with the discovery of how to control fire which improved the chances of getting increased sources of food. The invention of wheel made traveling easier.
Fast forward the clock a bit and then there was the invention of telephone, printing press and the Internet as well as changes in telecommunications, where fixed-mobile convergence is now common place. Count the time again and by the mid-20th century human beings had got to grips with technological advancements that have enabled them to cross the boundaries of Earth and leave their footprints in the face of the outer space. So far, technology has done well. But as every coin has two sides, so does technology. Used in the negative sense, technology has given rise to environmental problems fierce enough to challenge the existence of the human race.
As such, it is time to give back now what technology has taken from the environment. For more information about mobile convergence, here is an interesting blog post.
From time to time, technological improvements have been introduced to heal the scars inflicted on the environment. For example, back in the year 2009 Geo engineering, cellulosic biofuels, Nano regulation and synthetic biology were some of the technologies that emerged in the forefront to deal with the environmental problems. With every ticking year, new ways are being devised to give back environment the resources that have been replenished. The aim of technology now is to promote the 3 R’s – reuse, reduce and recycle.
Replacing old technology with the new is the first small step that can be taken in the direction. For example, a good number of mines that have been marked off limits in the 1930’s era used simple seals which were inadequate in controlling the water flow from the mines leading to Acidic Mine Drainage. New technologies make use of bulkhead seals which prevents this drainage. On the other hand in the field of agriculture, scientists are doing their bit by inventing bio pesticides that can replace synthetic ones which affect soil fertility.
Shift to the atmosphere and technology is to be blamed for its harm also. The over usage of fossil fuels and the smoke released into the air happens to be the source of Acid rain which is a threat to the environment and plants. How technology has found a solution to this problem? It comes in the form of using scrubbers in smokestacks which subsequently reduces the percentage of sulphur emission in the atmosphere. Large scale pollution problems can be handled by installing biochemical reactors which helps in removing toxic heavy metals and neutralizing acidic waters. The scientists at the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have had success with the project which is also easy on the budget.
The truth can’t be avoided that we human beings have brought the sorrow upon us. The greed of a better life has let us cut down trees leading to mass deforestation and resulting in soil erosion and drainage thus polluting water bodies. Silting of water masses has given rise to serious problems in safe drinking water in various places across the globe. Take Africa for example which showed a statistics of 50% Africans being affected by water borne diseases like Cholera and diarrhea. Technology has however come to the rescue by helping turn sea water safe for drinking. The process includes pressurizing sea water which produces vapor jets which is then filtered through carbon nanotubes. This could solve the water problem to a great extent throughout the planet.
Technological advancements in favor of the environment has also been studied in Japan where their plan to build a working space solar power system, harnessing the sun’s energy by the year 2030 will meet energy requirements of the world and that too without any GHG or nuclear emission.
However, these are technological improvements in the large scale. Small scale inputs like developing battery powered cars, using energy efficient mediums to cook food, installing energy efficient windows in home, using a drip irrigation system in the garden and cutting out on any kind of energy leaks in the house is a sure shot way to make savings and take a positive step in the mission to solve environmental problems.
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About Alec: I'm addicted to gadgets, it's as simple as that! You'll find me on my HTC One X during the day, listening to music on my Bowers & Wilkins at night and editing my very own music blog on my laptop anytime. View author profile.