ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Environmental Consequences of Science and Technology

Updated on November 29, 2014

Introduction: The Future of Technology

In Issues In Science And Religion, Ian Barbour explains his perspective on unprecedented powers as an analysis about the future of technology. Three main avenues of thought are considered. First, environmental threats are considered, that are now global and long term. Second, genetic engineering is examined. Third, the destrutive power of nuclear weapoons is discussed.

Ian Barbour

Ian Barbour
Ian Barbour | Source

Environmental Degradation

Environmental degradation considers air and water pollution, global threats to climates, species, and renewable/non-renewable resources. These are not mainly the result of dramatic accidents, but rather the cumulative effect of the everyday use of technology, prevailing agricultural and industrial practices and consumer habits. Air pollution has resulted in acid rain and is a major contributor to respiratory diseases and land damage in urban areas. Water pollution is caused mainly from industry and agricultural runoff. Hazardous wastes are generated from chemical industries and industrial waste. Prevention strategies are mainly the introduction of end-of-pipe devices to remove pollutants. Clean-up efforts are costly and have often been resisted, since enforcement has been lax. Pollutants removed from one media are often transferred to another, between air, water and land.

Some global environmental threats are de-forestation, endangered species, ozone depletion, global warming and population growth.

Technology has increased humanity's ability to feed and house the world's population, however the price has been increasing environmental damage. Efforts should be directed toward re-designing technology and reducing consumption rather than just reducing pollutants.



Conversation With Ian Barbour

Science and Technology - Limits to Growth Advocates

The limits to growth debate points to three responses to technology and environmental degradation.

First, the critics of growth maintain that if population and industrial production continue to grow at the present rate, global limits will be exceeded within a few decades. The main limiting factors are agricultural production, non-renewable resources and the capacity of the environment to absorb pollutants.

Second, advocates of growth hold that market mechanisms will provide an automatic adjustment to resource scarcities. Advocates of growth express great confidence in technology to extend existing limits.

Science And Technology - Advocates to Growth

Advocates to growth for Science and Technology believe that advances in tehnological innovations will eventually bring about a utopia, or fulfull a utopian ideal, or at the least benefit the individual and society at some level.

The belief is tht there will be a natural re-balancing of the individual, the environment, and the economic structure in relation to the introduction of a new technology into society at any given time.

As a result, advocates to growth maintain an inherent belief in the natural re-balancing process at all levels and therefore do not see a need for selectivity in terms of individual, religious, socio-economic, or environmental aspects of life in relation to the introduction of new technologies into society.

Religion And Science - Ian Barbour

Religion And Science - Ian Barbour
Religion And Science - Ian Barbour

Science and Technology - Barbour's Perspective - Selective Growth

Barbour is in agreement with the third position of selective growth. Selective growth calls for deliberate policy choices that will not occur from market forces alone. Selective growth will be the result of both individual and social decisions to encourage some kinds of technology and not others. Scarcities would be viewed as a result of maldistribution, institutional deficiencies, and shortsighted technological design, as well as finite resources. 'Whose growth' and 'what kind of growth' become decisive factors. New technologies suitable for a world of resource constraints would be promoted.

Quote - Ian Barbour

Conclusion - Barbour Advocates The Selective Use of Modern Technology

In conclusion, from my perspective, Barbour has engaged in a clear and compelling argument advocating the selective use of modern technology. Concerns in relation to environmental threats, genetic engineering and nuclear weapons have reinforced his analysis of the effect of technology on the environment. Although the perspectives of the critics of growth, and advocates of growth have been discussed, Barbour effectively favours the perspective of selective growth as a progressive resolution to the emerging environmental degadation in the modern world.


Works Cited

Issues In Science And Religion, Harper Collins College Divinity, U.S.A.
April, 1971

Perspectives on Science and Technology?

What is your view on Science and Technology?

See results

© 2014 Deborah Morrison

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)