David Olson

Can Technology Save the World?

by , 05/15/13

can tech save the world, technology and climate change, technology and global warming, life saving inventions, eco innovations, drones, genetic engineering, water issues, recycling, environmental damage, tech solutions for a changing world, global issues

Photo via Shutterstock

Environmental Justice & Well-Being

The emergence of rapid, real-time global communication and networking at all levels of society will make innovative technologies more accessible and should act as a vigilant watchdog on those who commit crimes against the Earth in the future. Technologies that help ensure that most people are well-fed, healthy, and enjoying democracy and justice will all contribute to a more stable social and political environment  Simple technological advances, such as needleless vaccinations and innovative designs for outhouses, may help bring a major reduction in disease in many parts of the world, making for a better quality of life and enhanced stability.

can tech save the world, technology and climate change, technology and global warming, life saving inventions, eco innovations, drones, genetic engineering, water issues, recycling, environmental damage, tech solutions for a changing world, global issues

Photo via Shutterstock

Saving Biodiversity

New tools for those trying to stem the hemorrhaging of biodiversity offer an important contribution. Unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) are currently counting elephants, rhinos, whales, and orangutans, mapping forest loss and fire damage, and tracking poachers, whalers, and loggers around the world. GPS, remote camera technologies, portable solar panels, bar-coding to control the wildlife and tropical timber trade, inexpensive ultralight aircraft, and comprehensive online databases of invasive species have all helped customs agents, protected area managers, and conservationists maximize limited resources and manpower.

can tech save the world, technology and climate change, technology and global warming, life saving inventions, eco innovations, drones, genetic engineering, water issues, recycling, environmental damage, tech solutions for a changing world, global issues

Photo via Shutterstock

Waste Management

Technology that can better reduce the most harmful waste products―like greenhouse gases, chlorofluorocarbons that destroy stratospheric ozone, radioactive waste, and toxins and other harmful compounds like endocrine-disruptors―are certainly useful if significant volumes can be cleaned up to markedly improve conditions for the entire biosphere, in general. For example, nanoparticles are being tested for their ability to absorb pharmaceutical compounds in drinking water and carbon dioxide at power plants— a trick gleaned from sea urchins that use nickel to turn a seawater’s carbon dioxide into shell. Recent proposals to build enormous arrays to trap waste plastic in ocean gyres have also garnered much attention and represent a concept advocating action at an appropriate global scale.

Lead Image via Shutterstock

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