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How Technology Is Helping The Environment

The planet is changing. It’s getting warmer, and as this happens, we are changing too. We have to adapt our lifestyles and our habits to reduce carbon in the planet’s atmosphere and prevent runaway climate change that could threaten the ultimate existence of a habitable planet called Earth.

In this article, we look at some of the ways technology is helping us to adapt. Because of our high resource lifestyles and global economic structure, it is difficult for us to make the necessary changes needed to help the planet regain health. Thankfully, technology is developing fast, and we are choosing to embrace it.

The digital revolution

Every successive generation has a revolution of one kind or another. Some generations had political revolutions; others had industrial revolutions. Our generation is predominantly concerned with the digital revolution. This is the rise of technology and the influence it has over our lives, livelihoods and culture.

Most of us won’t remember a time when we didn’t have technology in our lives. We can’t recall a time when we didn’t have a smartphone or access to the Internet, though we have probably heard stories about those times from our parents. In the last few decades, it’s fair to say there has been a digital revolution.

This has pros and cons, like any dramatic and dynamic change to a culture. Opponents of the increasing use of technology will argue that it creates more separation in society, people no longer communicate in a healthy way, and it fosters a culture of introverted people. However, there are some strong counter-arguments as well.

In relation to the environment, the digital revolution had been a resounding success. More people using digital devices for communicating and storing information means that there is less reliance on paper, which reduces deforestation. Since trees are an important source of oxygen and also absorb carbon dioxide, this further reduces climate change.

Environmental monitoring

Climate change is undoubtedly the biggest challenge facing our generation and our children’s generation too. The planet is a system of delicate balances, and the damage done to it so far with rising levels of greenhouse gases threaten to tip it over the edge. Previous generations have been sleeping, and only now have we woken up.

Although we are now on to the problem and challenges of climate change, it is a complex situation that requires the latest technologies to assist. Climate change is not just one person’s problem or one country’s issue. Rather, it affects everyone equally, but we still need to identify the major polluters and hold them accountable.

That is where Environmental Monitoring comes in. Using new technologies like drones and geo-spatial measurements of air pollution, authorities can effectively monitor areas being impacted by individuals and corporations. Drones, such as the DJI Air 2S drone, can act as security cameras and cover vast areas — making sure no one is breaking the law.

These technologies are clearly crucial to the future and health of our planet. Even though most people now understand what’s at stake and are pulling in the same direction, there is no question that some rogue elements still exist and must be carefully monitored and held accountable.

The sharing economy

One of the most encouraging signs that we will navigate the threat of climate change, and find a new balance and a new harmony with the planet, is the way our human culture is changing and adapting. Younger generations are more conscious of the environment, of the need to protect animals, and the need to embrace digital technology.

Embracing digital technology is a huge part of creating a sharing economy and helping the planet to thrive. So what is the sharing economy exactly? It refers to the way products and services now use digital means to connect, transport, and deliver items to customers. It cuts down our reliance on fossil fuel and damaging practices.

Uber is an example of an element of the sharing economy. It makes it easiest for people to get around without a car at a reasonable cost, and so cuts down on air pollution. Airbnb is another element of the sharing economy; it allows homeowners and travellers to make use of neglected spaces.

There are many more examples of the sharing economy. Now that you know the concept, you should be able to identify what elements form part of it. You can also start to reflect on why these new practices are helpful to the planet. In most cases, it’s because they reduce transport in some way or protect the much-needed forests from destruction.

Gerardo Pane
Author: Gerardo Pane

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