We have to start living a human life should the human race continue living on this planet. I am talking about climate change, and yes it has more to do with our way of living than the emission of carbon dioxide, methane or any other greenhouse gases.
Technological advancements have been offering alternatives, but what we do not see or are reluctant to acknowledge is that often a solution to one problem gives rise to another. Here is a video where researchers provide technological solutions to global warming and then discuss the complications that may arise out of them.
Let’s talk about how technology has equipped us.
“Green” innovation in transport
“Climate-friendly” wealthy nations are changing their policies so their roads get swarmed with electric cars replacing old fuel-run cars. Electric cars may not spit out carbon dioxide, but if the power they are charged with comes from coal-fired plants, they will cause damage to the environment anyway. Maybe, that is less conspicuous to the public eye. And affluent people feel good about their shiny but “green” lifestyle. A matter of concern that we will have to wait to see it raising our eyebrows is the disposal or recycling of all the batteries that these vehicles use and the consequences on climate. The recycling of lead batteries, for example in Bangladesh, has already been causing pollution and we can learn how from here.
Agricultural “revolution” turning our soil into dust
Agriculture has come a long way from what it used to be even half a century ago. Mechanization and industrialization brought us an agricultural revolution, and big companies showed us the magic of growing enough food for a rising population with less labour. Decades from then, we learn about what has gone wrong; arable land is depleting fast due to top soil losing organic matters. Read the story by The Guardian.
Some of us felt becoming vegan is the solution, but are eating soya and avocado, cultivation of which is causing deforestation in the rainforest in Brazil.
When plants are grown in vertical columns or in a controlled environment without soil, inorganic inputs are used for nutrients. They may have impacts on climate, which will be revealed decades later once we will have already been moved away from what we do now in growing our food.
Living in cities
Most of the populations have moved to cities and small townships. We no longer walk to work, school and markets. We walk so we fit our clothes.
We want to spend less and less money of our income and energy on food and more and more of those on entertainment, fashion, travel and comfort. All that come at a cost of our environment.
Having forgotten where we belong, we feel we are more dependent on gadgets than the ecosystem.
Business in the era of globalisation
Once farmers used to grow foods and sell them locally. People bought fruits and vegetables that were available in a particular season. Now, money can buy anything at any time of the year. Fruits, vegetables and meat – fresh and processed – are flown across continents to fill shelves of supermarkets.
Peter Vinson, an owner of the 150-year-old fruit farm, Edward Vinson Ltd in Kent, said globalisation had forced the farm to compete with growers, say, in Kenya, in terms of prices despite the huge gap in labour costs. For him, sustainability means surviving in the business.
Human beings will not be able to sustain this lifestyle because nature cannot support this. Floods, heatwaves and bushfires have been overturning lives to knock our conscience. Read the BBC story to know more about it.
But policymakers on whom the future of our next generations and of this planet largely depends continue discussing what they should compromise and how much they should compromise. Such a debate is often aimed at winning elections than fighting climate change. Australia gives us one such example.