A New Green Revolution
This hub will look into the history and evolution of green technology throughout the world and the impact it could have on preserving the worlds environment.
In 1968, some important people got together and decided that it was time to discuss the future of the planet. They decided to use research, development and technology to improve the production of crops. That was one green revolution. Today, we are witnessing another, more important, green revolution – that which is trying to save the environment.
It would have been hard to imagine, in the late 60s and 70s, that in just 40 years, the world would shift shape like it has. From growing more crops to preventing a global meltdown, technology is rapidly changing focus while hoping to continue the regular life-flow that has taken hold of the planet.
Human development and technology has ridden on the Earth’s natural resources. Today, the state of affairs has reached the dark end of the spectrum. The Earth’s resources, which took millenniums to develop, have been wiped out in less than a century.
With humans cutting down forests to create space for their ever-burgeoning populations, we are running short on green cover. Habitats, on land, in sea and in the air, are being destroyed without remorse as we look to make our own lives comfortable.
Fossil fuels have almost burnt themselves out in our homes and transportation. With an estimated usage of over 100 million barrels per day, across the world, oil reserves around the planet are being depleted at rates so quickly it will have run out within the next 30 years.
Every single aspect of the environment is being affected by human involvement. With little contribution to the betterment of the environment, the Earth is teetering on the edge of an environmental breakdown. With melting ice caps, rapidly changing environmental phenomenon, increased hurricane and earthquake counts, humans are fighting a battle to keep Mother Nature on their side.
In a bid to stem this rot, numerous agencies, bodies and committees have come up with ideas to protect the environment! Reducing the rate of consumption of natural fuels, these parties have decided to lay focus on the protection of the environment through “green” technology.
Green technology is the kind of technology that aims at keeping the Earth green by depending on sustainable and innovative technological advances.
Advocating the promotion of these technologies, major multi-national corporations as well as small businesses are looking to turn the corner by using lesser paper, more technology, lower power consumptions as well as fewer anti-environment products.
While there has never been an exact starting point that kicked off this modern green revolution, mankind has been involved in protecting the environment in some form or the other. Whether it is animal rights groups or tree-hugging activists, humans have always, at some level, retained their love for the environment.
The most widespread green technology roots are said to be those of Chloro-Flouro Carbons (CFC) and their reduction. Causing damage to the Ozone layer, CFC was first detected as a major component of refrigerators, air conditioners and even perfume bottles.
Since then, the influence of green technology has grown in our lives, sometimes unknowingly. With evolving methodologies and materials, companies are quickly turning towards a new range of products that not only reduce emissions and protect the environment, but also make us contribute towards returning the Earth to a stable state.
Richard Manning on the Green Revolution
FEATURES OF GREEN TECH
There are numerous features of green technology that make it stand apart from the crop of technology that is prominent today. These features are mostly pertaining to the fact that green technology is less dependent on the Earth for its running.
Any form of technology, to be considered as a “green” technology, needs to include the following characteristics:
Sustainability: one of the key features of green technology is to be able to sustain the current generation without actually depleting the future generations of any resources. This means that there is marginal or no usage of natural resources in any form. This allows future generations to meet their own needs without compromising on consumption.
Cradle-to-Cradle: Products cease having any end! This means that unlike regular technology where products are created and used until they are dead, green technology has no death. At the end of it all, green technology products can simply be re-used or recycled.
Source Reduction: There is a large amount of focus on reducing the wastage and pollution caused due to consumption or production, using these green technological means. Whether at the end of the consumer or at the end of the manufacturer, there is a massive reduction in wastage by all means.
Innovation: One of the most important aspects of green technology is that it is created as an alternative to regular technology. This means that the environment damaging technology being used today can be replaced with green technology without compromising on the output.
Viability: After all, employing environment-friendly technology shouldn’t put people out of business. It is extremely important for environment friendly technology to be economically viable so as to create new avenues for careers, products, technologies and other aspects of world economics.
Green technology has slowly crept into many aspects of our lives, even when there wasn’t a large amount of focus on it. Over the years, there has been on a lot of alternative means of fuel as well as other aspects that pertain to our daily lives.
Some of the popular areas where green technology has been welcomed, or will be, are:
Alternative Fuels: whether you are driving a car or heating your home, fuels are essential. To avoid burning oil and other natural non-renewable fuels, scientists have been trying to create fuel from crops, plants and even looked at hydrogen as a possible fuel for hybrid vehicles.
Green Buildings: No, we aren’t talking about green houses, in fact quite the opposite. Green buildings have revolutionised the way we look at homes. Using environmental friendly ways to run the house such as using natural light and solar energy, insulating with natural elements or simply natural air-conditioning through water, you can vastly reduce energy requirements of your house, thus making your house “green”.
Government’s Preferred Purchasing: governments, around the world, are paying more attention to products that are produced using environment friendly technology or green methods. This promotes the usage of environment friendly technologies that have minimal effect on the environment.
Eliminating Chemicals: one of the most important aspects of green technology is the attempt to reduce the amount of chemicals in the Earth’s eco-system. The use of harmful chemicals on crops, and otherwise, is generally quite hazardous to humans as well as the Earth. The reduction or conversion of these chemicals into eco-friendly substitutes is beneficial to all, especially human-kind.
Nanotechnology: There is a major transition towards technology that is microscopic in nature. Nanotechnology does not simply pertain to minimizing the size of technology. It involves the manipulation or creation of elements at the microscopic level to enhance the productivity or longevity of products, making them more environment friendly at the core.
An Organic Green Revolution
WHY GREEN TECH IS NECESSARY
In today’s world, human-kind is progressing at a mind-blowing pace. Money is abundant and more people are buying cars as the standard of living rises around the world. The number of homes, and the technology in and around them, is rapidly rising. Unfortunately, the rate of rise is beyond what the Earth can control.
Human-kind has, in fact, moved out of the control of nature with all the technical advances helping them reduce diseases, increase population and thus increase pollution of all kinds.
Without recycling, water & air purification, appropriate treatment of sewage as well as solid waste management, the Earth is heading towards a massive meltdown. All factors lead to a horrific rise in green house gases that will overheat the Earth’s surface.
A rise of 2 degrees in the Earth’s average temperature, something that is inevitable by 2020, is all that is required to destroy all natural plants and animals on the African continent. The rate at which countries are releasing harmful elements onto the Earth is much higher than the rate at which they are working at removing them.
Again, unfortunately, the damage being cause by human beings is irreversible! If scientists are to be believed, then humans are just part of a long sequence of evolutionary beings that inhabit the Earth. We are not the first and will definitely not be the last of the Earth’s inhabitants.
However, if we are to extend our stay on this planet to as long as possible, it is imperative that we start thinking about the future. The rate at which developments are taking place is rising steadily. With most of the technology, already in place, working against the environment, it is getting harder for humans to continue to ignore this impending danger.
Green technology is probably one of the first steps that we need to take to ensure further stay on Earth.
ISAAC 2008 - Introduction on Green Technology
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