Modern technology's effect on ecology
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?Modern technology owes ecology an apology!?
This is what some people say when the read the news about haze, deforestation, extinction of flora and fauna and global warming. They blame modern technology, the materials and ideas developed in the last century to assist humans in their activities, for the deterioration of ecology. The ecological cycle has been very much disturbed by the developments humankind have achieved. Despite these allegations, we should stop and think, does modern technology really owe ecology an apology? For what reason does it owe ecology an apology? Is it because it took away its attractiveness and reduced attention and respect to nature?s beauty? Is it because it harmed the environment? Has all modern technology harmed Mother Nature? I think modern technology does owe ecology an apology as some but not all of it has negatively affected the ecology.
First of all, let?s examine the consequences of modern technology on the environment. Modern technology indeed has harmed the environment. It created bulldozers, cranes, guns, nuclear weapons and other dangerous equipments that have been used by man to clear forests for the sake of urbanization. Nuclear weapons that have been used in wars such as the one that was detonated in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 has left a huge impact on the environment.
Radioactive waves that were produced has reduced the fertility of the land to zero and killed all living organisms in those areas. Not only has the usage of modern technology harmed the environment, its production itself involves harming the environment. One common example would be the production of paper. Approximately sixty kilograms of paper is produced from a tree. But the world uses hundreds of thousands of tons of paper annually. That means thousands of trees were cut so that people can use paper for the production of newspapers, books, advertisements, study materials, and many more. It not only reduced the number of trees existing, but also endangered the species that used to live in that habitat. Without a home, where do they live? Hence, they die and the ecological cycle that once existed there ceases to function.
Not only does modern technology harm the environment, it also reduces its attractiveness. From prehistoric times to the 1950s, nature was one of the most enjoyed wonders. Vacations were spent enjoying the sunset, enjoying the cool breeze in the jungles, and watching the animals. In this contemporary era, that sort of activity still exists at a miniscule level. People cannot find places to enjoy without paying a price to enter the national park that has to be declared a preserved area. There are no jungles or forests that can be explored on our own, without becoming a trespasser of a private property. Moreover, now majority of people go to shopping malls where some even lavish themselves clothes made of animal skin. They no longer go to parks for relaxation. Some even call park-goers ?like a frog under a shell? as they are considered out-dated. This is the mindset of people nowadays. Modern technology has clearly seemed a more attractive choice compared to the unchanging natural surroundings. Now, shouldn?t modern technology apologize to ecology for reducing attention given to it?
However, the recent modern technology, the technology developed in the last decade has made improvements to reduce damage to the environment. For example, the use of hybrid technology in vehicles like cars has greatly reduced pollution as it reduces the amount of exhaust fumes. A Japanese company, Toyota has adopted the technology and implemented it in Toyota Prius which has higher mileage and lower emissions compared to its older counterparts. Moreover, there are technological improvements in the generation of power that has minimal damage to the environment. For instance, solar power is now used in Mexico to be the sole electricity generator electricity for a small town. This hardly affects the environment. Every year, more houses in Asia are also using solar power to heat their water. Wind turbines built in Netherlands has effectively supplied a large amount of electricity to this country annually. In fact, 20% of power in Denmark is supplied by wind technology. Clearly, there are modern technologies that are aimed and have worked to minimize damage to the environment. With this perspective in mind, it does not really owe ecology an apology as it is allying with it.
In addition to that, there are some innovative sciences that have brought about recovery of nature. Newspapers worldwide have published at least a million articles about the deterioration of the environment. People, including scientists have paid attention. Thus, some technology has been helping ecology. The technology of recycling wastes, especially that of land resources like paper and metals like aluminium, have greatly reduced reliance on natural resources. Thanks to environmental technology, areas that were once barren could grow plants and trees with the usage of fertilizers used at an appropriate amount with precautions taken. Besides that, animal and plants conservation methods were developed to help save them. Egg incubators and designated areas that have the ideal environmental factors protect endangered species and threatened plants from harm so that it can breed and not become extinct. This has explicitly shown how advanced technology has helped the technology somewhat.
In any case, we should step back and think, who is really at fault for the impacts that modern technology has done to ecology? Some argue that it is the user to blame, not modern technology itself. How true is this? So, does that mean that humans, not modern technology is to blame for the decline in quality of the environment? Well, if you observe the usage of nuclear technology, when people use it for the good and dispose it well, it produces a lot more power than coal. That means pollution from coal is greatly reduced with the use of nuclear technology. However, in the wrong hands, whether at the hands of a terrorist or a careless manager, nuclear explosions would occur and cause massive destruction that destroys nature. In the case of plastics, materials that we use in our everyday lives, it is the human?s choice to use plastics although it is not biodegradable. It is the human?s choice to recycle it or to reduce its usage. These choices are the ones that determine whether or not modern technology harms the environment and to what extent if it does. This circuitously testifies that humans, not modern technology are the ones who caused detriments to the ecology.
In conclusion, modern technology has both helped and harmed the environment. Thus, although the human choices are the ones that determine its effects on the environment, modern technology is still essential to have such an impact on ecology. Since it is still partially responsible for the impairment of the environment, it does owe ecology an apology. Nevertheless, due to the fact that innovations have helped the ecology, ecology should ?forgive? modern technology and work hand in hand to complement each other. However, we should still work on conserving the environment first as it is the most pressing issue at hand, as emphasized by ex-vice president of the United States of America, Al Gore in his movie ?An Inconvenient Truth?. For that to be achieved, all levels of society should work together and support the government?s pragmatic actions towards conserving the environment. Without everyone?s support, this may not be achieved, as it takes two hands to clap. Just remember this, ?where there is a will, there is a way?. So I hope you have the will so that we can conserve and continue to enjoy one of God?s greatest blessings, mother earth.