Simple sustainable technologies focused on humans

Green technology

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Most of us agree that climate change is real. There are still many unanswered questions related to it, (as “How dangerous would it be?”, “To what extend it is caused by us?” etc.), but while all these would be good to know, we have more urgent things to do - if I tell you that there is a stone that is about to fall on your head that weights between 1 and 100 kilograms, your reaction wouldn’t be to try to spend time determining the exact size of the stone, neither would you ask who’s fault it is that it is there.

Obviously the solution of the problem has to do with technology and so many organizations are trying to jump on that bandwagon and invent new less-polluting technologies that we call green technologies. But many of these technologies are green only by name - they don’t have enough impact on the carbon emissions to constitute a solution to climate change and by claiming to doing so, they are essentially exploiting the people’s desire to save the planet in order to make profit.

Developing new technology is not a bad thing, but let’s not forget that developing new technology is what got us here in the first place - if it weren’t for the technologies developed in the last 100-200 years, climate change wouldn’t be an issue. In fact, we can prevent climate change by starting to live the way our great grandparents lived.

We won’t do that? OK, luckily for us there are technologies that allow us to mitigate the issue, while continuing to live exactly the way we are living right now. Or not.

Fake green technology

When we should consider a green technology fake? I consider it fake if it fails to fulfill its promise to help us cope with the climate disaster. So, being slightly less-polluting than some of it’s alternatives does not qualify a technology as green. A good example of a fake green technology are electric cars. Yes, electric cars are more efficient than gasoline-powered cars. No, if everyone started driving electric cars, the problem with climate change won’t be solved. In fact, the situation would be just about the same, especially given the fact that most electricity doesn’t come from green sources. Electric cars have a lot of other problems that normal cars have, like the problem that they occupy too much space.

Fake green technologies are dangerous:

  1. They give their users an impression that they are doing enough to stop climate change.
  2. They don’t allow for real green technologies to become popular.

So fake green technologies, especially if they are marketed in the way that Elon Munsk does it, do more harm than good.

Real green technology

A good alternative to electric cars are… electric bikes. Or normal ones for that matter. Not all humane technologies are green. However, non-humane technologies cannot be green, because of the manufacturing costs (if not for other reason) - manufactoring goods is very energy consuming and inhumane technologies don’t last long - they break, they become obsolete all the time and so they are dependent on endless assembly lines that manufacture new models.

So, the real solution to the climate crisis is understanding the idea of humane technologies: instead of less-wasteful production, we should have less production. Instead of less-polluting products, we should have less products.

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