Throughout the world, technology is growing exponentially in popularity and use in businesses, schools, and other organizations. A question that many people ask is whether or not these forms of technology are having enough positive effects to outway their negative ones. There are a multitude of advantages relating to the technologies of our day, including increased communication, sales, freedom, activism, connection, community, education, research, and much more. The advantages of technology are easy to see: according to the Internet World Stats typically the most developed countries are the greatest users and producers of large scale technologies. That suggests that the recent growth and innovation in industry and machinery in general help a lot in the growth, protection, education, and other aspects of a country. Additionally, often times solutions are offered for disadvantages and harmful effects caused by today’s technology. Governments around the world are advising their populations that they need to become more aware of their actions and the possibility of dangers and repercussions. However, if we did not have the technology, we would not know about the world’s problems.
When we use technology, the waste can damage rivers and seas, and that is why natural resources are destroyed. Factories and transportation also contribute to CO2 emissions in the air, and that is why the ozone layer is being destroyed. This layer is what protects us from solar radiation, and the destruction of that poses a great danger to all ecosystems and lives living on planet earth. Also, when the sun rays enter, they can not leave, and this intensifies the effects of the greenhouse effect.
In the United States, because the recent government policies are not totally committed to the sustainability of our world, the small changes that are being made are not making a great impact on the environment the community in which the community is living, nor on the actions each individual is taking to help. On the contrary, in Peru, the central government is taking direct measures to change the treatment of the land. They have instituted a new act called INFOCARBONO, which discusses the dangers of greenhouse gases, the sources of greatest emissions and pollutants (modern technology), and distributes responsibilities to all sectors of the country. The movement towards this act began with the collection and analysis of information on the emission and extraction of greenhouse gases. It was discovered that nearly 95% of all greenhouse gas emissions were produced by modern technologies, and that these emissions could be easily mitigated if the general population took the right measures. Today, the main goal of INFOCARBONO is to educate the population about the importance of their participation in confronting climate change. INFOCARBONO ensures that the whole country of Peru takes measures to improve its daily activities that affect the environment. It also promotes the study of CO2 and other gas emissions, and helps the government and the sectors of the country to prioritize their environmental efforts.
Much of Peru’s technology, especially in industry, harms the environment in great ways. Before INFOCARBONO Peru was one of the most polluted countries in the world. Before, there were 3500 functional factories, only 42 garbage dumps, a large number of mines and processing plants, and 9% of the population had health problems due to air pollution. A major problem in the country today is air pollution, due to the numerous industrial plants dispersed throughout the region. From 2007 to 2009, air pollution caused more than five thousand deaths in the Peru. Some examples of the technology used are Raymond Mill and VSI Crusher. The country relies on these industrial sites to develop its economy, but they have many drawbacks, as pollution has increased dramatically in the last century. For example, in 1996, the total carbon dioxide emissions were 26.1 million metric tons, compared to the average 2.4 million pounds released by each country annually. Another issue is water pollution. The government has tried to mitigate its effects with the restrictions of environmental pollution, but they are not always enforced due to the country’s lack of resources to support them.
Now in Peru, the Ministry of Energy and Mines says that the demand for energy has surged in the last century, but oil and gas resources are rapidly decreasing. Therefore, there is a new demand from INFOCARBONO for renewable energy. This includes biomass, wind, sun, and hydroelectric power. A new law passed by INFOCARBONO requires that 5% of national electricity has to come from renewable energy resources. Today, more than 50% of the electricity is from renewable resources throughout the country.
In Chile, the temperature has grown recently due to increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Many people believe that gas emissions primarily affect the air, but a more important problem is the effect on waters. Chile is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, and in recent years, the pH of the water has grown by more than 30% due to the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Because of this, the ocean’s ecosystem is being negatively affected. Many organisms can not survive the drastic environmental change and that is why there is now a lack of biodiversity. Also, the population of Chile relies on marine life for food, but now does not have enough resources to sustain itself.
In the US, the greatest example of technology affecting the environment can be found in California. The environmental department in San Francisco has been working on a solar energy and storage project so that the city can take care of the environment even in an emergency such as a power outage or earthquake, which are common in Northern California. There is a goal to make San Francisco one of the only cities in the world that uses one hundred percent renewable energy. Solar energy is a major component in the goal because the city has many sunny days. The department also has a hydroelectricity project underway, due to the consistent tides and convenient waters nearby. There is a large portion of the population in San Francisco who do not want to change their energy source because the effects are not immediate, or due to distraction in their homes. The department will need funds to build the panels because advanced technology is not cheap. Regardless, solar energy in San Francisco will result in saving money, because after the installation of the panels, the cost of upkeep and energy renewal will be cheaper in the long term. The new energy sources will promote wellbeing of the earth because it will improve air quality and overall health of organisms and ecosystems. Renewable energy in San Francisco will help many animals in danger of extinction because their habitats will no longer be destroyed by the greenhouse effect.
Forests, meadows, rivers, lakes, coral reefs and other ecosystems provide essential resources for all life in the world. With the difficulties that the earth is facing due to non-renewable resources, harmful technologies, and practices like deforestation, there are many dangers for animals, plants, and humans. Many steps do exist that we can take to help this problem. First, we must support land tenure policies and rights over resources. Second, we must fight against deforestation and can start planting trees. Next, we must protect biodiversity. Finally, we must mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. This issue affects everyone, even me, and in a time and place when I may not notice it. Often times the work done on a local level is regarded as “useless” or “unnecessary” but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Every step one person takes in an attempt to combat this issue is one step closer to a safer, cleaner, more perfect planet Earth.
Technology on Planet Earth by Annie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.