Technological Advancement and the Effect on the Ecosystem
While technology can be powerful force to improve our standard of living, it comes at a cost. New technological goods are often burdensome to the environment. This damage may come from acquiring the resources to produce new technology, or from toxic byproducts of technological production. It can consist of environmentally harmful waste produced by the technology itself, or the castoff remains of obsolete technology.
Some categories of technology, such as electronics, require resources that are difficult to acquire without harming the environment. For example, the advanced batteries in hybrid cars are composed of nickel and rare-earth metals. Mining these materials is a significant source of harmful emission, including solvent vapors, sulfuric acid and coal dust. Acid-laden water discharges kill all plant and animal life around nearby waterways and have sickened and killed nearby rural residents. This mining largely takes place in China, which has admitted that it sells the rare earths cheaply because it sacrifices environmental safety standards in the mining process, similar batteries exist in personal consumer electronics, hard drives, fuel cells, wind turbines, polishing powers and catalytic converters
New advances in technology often render old technology useless; Discarding outdated or worn out technological goods is a significant source of environmental damage.
The use of technology can ease our lives, but it can also damage the environment. The most obvious example of technology usage producing harmful by-products is the greenhouse gases and other toxic emissions from transportation technology.
By: Khadheeja Zuyyina ( ACFS-1)