Technology is the name we've given to man-made things and often to human-centric pursuits. The ability of technology and technical systems to impact our lives and alter our dependency upon and the relationship with our natural environment, presents challenges and implications that we don't fully understand. (But, we need to care about.)
The impacts of technology on our world are as vast, wide and far reaching as the variety of goals we set for the growing number of problems we attempt to solve. Unfortunately, not everything we construct or conceive is beneficial to the health and well-being of living creatures on our planet. The list of risks include those to the health of all earthlings and the health of our precious earth... our home... the only one we have and the only nearby planet where we can flourish and prosper. By the majestic grace of the opportunities we have on this planet; blessed with, amongst other things, a healthy atmosphere, fresh water, rich, fertile soil, and for thousands of years, a relatively stable climate, countless species have thrived. But, it should be remembered that the earth will continue to glide through the cosmos, with or without humans, and that of all the species that have ever lived on earth, more than 99% have gone extinct at one time or another. We should not be too quick to dismiss the health of our host, or we may find life on this planet far less friendly to our species, and with roughly 7 billion people on this planet, there’s a lot of competition for resources if things start to go badly. Think about it.
Paleo Climate evidence reveals that at times in the earth's history, ocean levels have been as much as 75 meters higher, and that during natural cycles of global warming and cooling, coastlines have been altered continuously and often dramatically. How can we believe that the cities we’ve constructed along coastlines, at or around sea level, on every continent - since the most recent solar warming cycle began after the last ice age - will somehow stand against the mighty force of rising oceans? If we continue to warm our atmosphere with unnatural levels of human/industrial released greenhouse gasses, the evidence of how the natural earth systems will respond is clear. Above a certain level of CO2 and Methane gasses in our atmosphere, oceans will rise above the levels they are at now. How far and how fast they rise above current levels is dependent at least in part on how quickly we change how we produce and consume energy and how quickly we adapt to powering our mechanized world and transporting people and goods without significant reliance on fossil fuels. The sooner we move away from burning fossil fuels toward powering our society from clean, renewable energy sources, the better our chances of having some time to relocate billions of people from a most certain perilous fate at ocean’s edge.
It's not too late to be smarter about our use of technology. All technical systems are not created equal. The more you know, the better off we'll all be.
For more information about the interactions with and impacts of technology systems on our natural systems, please see the books and DVD's that I have listed elsewhere on my web pages. Thanks. Mr. Lueth