It seems that technology and industrialization may be the cause of much environmental degradation. Yet, at the same time, technology can help us more comfortably get “back to the garden” and reduce our negative impact on the environment. Consider the following:
- The newer more efficient wind and solar power technologies rely on computers as do the industries that support the research and promotion of them.
- With a notebook computer running on a solar powered battery, it is possible to replace an entire home entertainment console — reducing space and power needs.
- Digital cameras and scanners make it possible to create digital images of one’s papers and photographs reducing the amount of storage space, work space, and living space we need. This reduces the construction costs and energy needed to build and maintain a home (since it can be smaller).
There’s a lot less paper being used and consumed, and many fewer postal delivery trucks, because of e-mail.
I use candles for light in my home, but also rely upon an iPhone and a notebook computer. By blending the old and the new technologies, it’s possible to use the most cost effective and environmentally friendly solution for a specific need. It seems to me that candles are a great way to light a room. They are efficient, small, simple, and use no electricity.
I’m recently back to having only a bicycle as my main means of daily transportation (after 4 months of trying to be a car owner).
I have hope in humanity’s ability to wisely pick and choose from the available new technologies, while returning to some older (circa 1700 or 1800s) technologies that served us well, and perhaps better than some of our present-day technologies.
I imagine a future where people might ride bicycle or horse and buggy for transportation, rely on candles for light, yet at the same time use iPhone like devices and notebook computers to communicate.
I’ve written more about this topic in my new book: