ENERGY USE AND TECHNOLOGY
We are at the brink of toppling over into the pit of unrecoverable environmental crisis – there is no way to say it that can be dramatic enough. And yet as gloomy and grave as the picture of our future is, there are viable solutions. Although fingers can be pointed at technology, but in the bigger picture, technology stands as our savior.
First, let’s look into the problem. The gist is: human population is ever growing, leading to energy consumption at faster rates to sustain life and the major energy sources used are carbon-based, causing severe continuous damage to the environment.
Life on earth is being fueled by fossil fuels: natural gas, oil and coal. Combustion of these organic substances produces pollutant gases, such as methane, sulfur dioxide and nitrous dioxide, and an increased emission of carbon dioxide gas. This culminates into the green house effect and global warming. The consequence is the earth becoming less and less suitable to sustain life because of the assault to its ecosystem and environmental equilibrium.
The problem is enormous, yet there is hope. We can change the way we think and solve problems. For starters, let’s decrease the consumption of organic fuels, find alternative energy sources, and redeem the already damaged environment.
We can find answers to all of the above in eco-friendly technology. One example is the technological innovation of ways to detect and decrease methane emissions – methane, a potent green house gas, is responsible for quarter of the warming we are experiencing.
Technology based industries are one of the largest consumers of energy, especially in the form of electricity. Introduction of renewable energy sources, such as solar, geothermal, wind, hydrogen, and having them replace the organic fuels in generating electricity is a paramount effort against the issue of environmental damage.
Technology has taken leaps as big as introducing satellites into outer space to detect methane emissions on earth. Yet it has not fallen short of providing us with gadgets that can make a difference in a person’s everyday life to reduce and counter the harmful effects of human activity itself.
These include Google cars that map air pollution, chemical-exposure tracking bracelets, sustainable packing strategies that use mushrooms, plant-based products, advanced yet simpler recycling strategies, widespread use of LED lights, and so much more. Finding ways to make solar energy usage applicable on a large scale would be a commendable feat when achieved.
The narrative of the relationship between environmental energy use and technology goes like this: technological growth spurred the organic fuel consumption, increasing air, land and water pollution and causing global warming, which in turn led to technology taking up the responsibility to counter these harms to the environment and life on earth.
The efforts to decarbonize energy use and to create ways to rectify the damage to our ecosystem makes technology the best of our friends right now, assuming that the issue that requires our most immediate attention is that of the drastic, rapidly escalating deterioration to our environment by our own actions. Did we set fire to our house? If so, do we stand a chance to put it out in time? More importantly, do most of us even see the fire?