Technology has proven to be one of the strongest and most powerful force the world can ever reckon with but the reality is it comes at a lot of costs. As we further develop our technological capacity day by day, it also increased the demand for raw materials that are used in developing and producing new technological goods which our environment pays the consequences.
Raw materials such as iron, and other metallic elements, as well as plants and other resources that can be used to reproduce and furthermore develop and enhance the technology to provide humanity a more convenient life are being acquired in large quantities which consumes more than these resources can reproduce while the byproducts and waste products from technology affects our environment negatively which in return harms humans rather than doing good at all.
In this article, we will discuss the technological advancements that have environmental consequences that are already affecting us all. This is one way to educate you about these consequences which in turn might push you to start protecting our environment and support companies that maintain a sustainable technology.
- RESOURCE-INTENSIVE TECHNOLOGY- Electronics is considered to be the top consumer of materials that are difficult to acquire without harming our environment. Most electronic devices require metallic substances such as iron, aluminum, and nickel to name a few that are essential to creating parts of electronic devices. The best example would be iron which is mined in mineral-rich mountains for decades until it is completely exhausted which can’t recover itself from the mass harvest of raw materials not to mention the byproducts to extract the raw materials using harmful chemicals that are sure could create damage in the environment. A lot of mining companies around the world follows the standard environmental laws no wonder each decade there’s a mining disaster that occurs in countries that legalizes mining in forested areas and mountains like leakage of mine tailings and other dangerous chemicals and metals that pour into rivers and oceans killing most of its inhabitants and other natural resources like fish and coral reefs. However, mining is still a huge industry anywhere you go around the world because mining these metallic materials are significant in creating new electronic devices as top manufacturers and brands continue to compete with each other by manufacturing new innovative tools and gadgets. Sadly, a lot of environmental organizations and cause-related groups are ignored by governments and the latter has small efforts in protecting the environment.
- FARMING TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT- This innovation provides humanity with more produce a more diverse source of food option and a cheaper way of farming but most farmers use harmful chemicals used in pesticides in order for them to improve their production and minimize wastes done by pests. Also, chemical fertilizers are rampantly used to rapidly grow crops and plants and increase yields for the growing demand in the market. These pesticides and fertilizers have been proven by health and environmental experts as a very harmful practice but sadly, it is often ignored by farmers because this technological advancement in farming is more convenient for them and it is also a lot cheaper than the conventional farming practices. Most artificial and chemical fertilizers, if used rampantly, causes the soil to be acidic and could cause the groundwater resource in the area which results from a harmful body of water like lakes and rivers that are near to these farms. Pesticides meanwhile, are harmful to our health knowing that these chemicals are directly applied to plants, fruits, and crops. There are safer ways in farming like organic farming which is strongly promoted by health organizations and even the government which has been proven to be safer for human consumption and also does little to no harm to the environment.
- BYPRODUCTS- When using a raw material to produce a device or a substance that contributes to the advancement of technology, it is not entirely used. Some parts or it which is found not useful is recklessly dumped by companies which cause harm to our environment. These byproducts produce harmful greenhouse gases and other toxic emitting effects like the smoke that comes out of a vehicle exhaust, or a refrigerator’s cooling liquid that is proven by environmental experts to damage our ozone layer causing global warming. Also, companies that produce batteries use lead and magnets to produce their products; these metals are proven to be harmful to human health and pose the hazard to our environment.
- DISPOSABLES- If you’ve noticed, our ocean today is largely polluted, tons of plastic materials and non-biodegradable wastes floating in our ocean killing thousands of fish, birds and other marine animals that mistakenly eat it as food. Also, it takes a lot of decades before it completely breaks down and decomposes. Also, people who have discarded appliances often dispose of it improperly. These devices carry metals such as lead and mercury causes health and environmental hazards. If not disposed of properly, this is very toxic to both human and animals. Most of the discarded appliances and materials that are not properly disposed of are batteries; televisions, air conditioners, light bulbs, thermometers, and other appliances that contain mercury and lead. If not properly disposed of, these harmful metals will contaminate the soil and will make it toxic to both human and animals. In the long run, these hazardous wastes from the discarded appliances will eventually go to our waterways due to rain which could end up in our own faucet, rivers, and embankment that will affect us all in the end.
Bottomline is, we’ve shared these consequences for you because Mother Nature is slowly dying as we speak. Harmful gases from factories and power plants and even in a simple vehicle emission contributes to the worsening global warming which experts believe could get more worse in the next years to come. Our ice shelves and glaciers in the northern and southern tips of the world are slowly melting causing the earth to get warmer and warmer which causes natural disasters like super typhoons and hurricanes, and other natural disasters caused by the rapidly changing climate. Now that you’ve learned the types of harmful environmental effects in our advancing technological capabilities, you might want to start with yourself or inform your family about these and spread the awareness.