The rapid pace of development is damaging our environment. Some people say the answer is for all of us to lead a simpler life, but others say that technology can help solve our environmental problems. What do you think?
Our planet is definitely suffering from the effects of seven billion people. Is the answer to go back to living in villages and farms, or is it to find new technological solutions for our problems? In this essay, I will say why we need to consider both these options.
Technology by itself cannot solve our environmental problems. First of all, it is neutral, neither good nor bad: Only the user can decide how it is to be used. Secondly, it is difficult to imagine in advance how new technology can be used, or misused. For example, if we learned how to produce endless cheap energy , would the results be necessarily all good? A third point is that technology generally belongs, at least at the beginning, to the rich and powerful, who use it for their own ends.
However, we cannot just shun technology and go back to living simple lives in villages. For one thing, there would not be enough space in our rural areas. Imagine if all Bangkok’s or Mumbai’s millions left the city and went back to farming or weaving. But we can make a difference by consuming much less, and reusing what we have. A switch from meat to vegetables or beans for one or two days a week would keep us healthier and reduce pressure on the Amazon rainforest. Walking instead of driving, demanding that products be recycled, and thinking about our consumption would make a huge difference.
In conclusion, we should look at ways of using technology to tackle environmental issues, rather than using it for mindless consumerism. When future generations see our mountains of abandoned cars and iPods, what will they think of us? Or will they get the chance?