KEY POINT! • TECHNOLOGY REMOVES US FROM NATURE! • BUILDS A ‘NICE LITTLE WORLD FOR US TO LIVE IN. • INCREASES THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US AND THE RESOURCES WE USE. • “EVERY TIME WE INVENT SOMETHING NEW, WE FORGET HOW TO DO SOMETHING”. • MORE TECHNOLOGY = MORE DESTRUCTIVE IMPACTS Our relationship is now more distant.
Biophilia • Technology Biophilia Biophobia
A QUOTE • Our culture has seldom been inclined to confront the profound changes that accompany technological innovation. Like a carrot prompting a cart horse, technology entices us forward in a way that keeps us from noticing much about the road ahead, each offering results in such a slight movement that by the time we realize we are far from home, no serious re-examination of our fate seems possible. — Attributed to J. Robert Oppenheimer, Ethics for New Life Forms
Why is this significant? • Do you know who this author is? • If you do, it might make the quote make a bit more sense. • Look it up! “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” J. Robert Oppenheimer created the first ever atomic bomb, which was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing over 200,000 people.
Shoot first, ask questions later. • Humans are very curious – we love to look at the carrot (technology) and not the road ahead (nature). • It is easy for us to become blinded to the effects of our marvellous advances as we enjoy the comfort they bring. • Vicious cycle – create technology, don’t notice effects, get further separated from nature, make new technology with even bigger effects, get separated more, don’t notice effects etc, etc.
Examples • DDT – 1940’s • this stuff is awesome!!!!!! Get a plane and spray it on your crops –it kills all the bugs and you get way more crops! MAKE MONEY MONEY, MAKE MONEY MONEY – Boo Yeah! • Buuuuuuutt….. • 1960’s - It seeps into our water ways and kills all the fish and birds.
CFC’s • Chlorofluorocarbons – we can use this to make fridges, aerosols, cleaning products and all kinds of cool stuff – it’s non toxic, doesn’t react with other chemical’s and doesn’t burn. How smart are we? • Oh Oh – It wrecks the ozone layer.
Power Generation • 1700’s. “I just invented a steam engine. What you do is heat up some water and when the steam rises it turns things – so we don’t have to. All we need is something to keep burning, like coal, or gas, or oil. We can get machines to do all the jobs that are really hard for us – we’ll all be rich!” • 21st century – ahhh actually it turns out that the world is getting hotter because there is too much carbon in the air, which traps in the heat. And, our population got real big and there’ more people in the world than the earth can support – whoopsie.
Coltan • Look, mobile phones – now we can be on facebook instead of litsening to that boring idiot with the power point – awesome! • Circuit boards for mobile phones require coltan – coltan comes from central Africa. • Gorilla habitat is being destroyed to mine coltan. • Extensive civil war through this region – armies in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and the Congo are all financed by the sale of coltan – usually with local slaves. • Watch the video and read info about coltan mining at OES blog • Anyone seen ‘Hunger Games’?
Albert Speer • Nazi Armaments minister during World War II. “One seldom recognises the devil when he has his hand on your shoulder”
What should we do instead? • “To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” - Aldo Leopold
What, just bad stuff? • Widespread impacts of industrialisation led to romantic movement – appreciating beauty and celebrating nature. • This led to establishing National Parks and preservation societies. • Provides us with greater access to the natural world – photos, stories, transportation, comfort while in there. • Watch the ‘Wild Fashions’ video and read info about surfboards at OES blog
KEY POINT! • Technology gives us access to natural environments.
KEY POINTS • TECHNOLOGY REMOVES US FROM NATURE. Our relationship is now more distant. • Technology gives us access to natural environments. • THERE IS AN ‘UNEASY REALTIONSHIP’ BETWEEN TECHNOLOGY AND PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT THE NATURAL WORLD.
George wright “The limited empirical evidence available suggests that the increasing use of technology in outdoor recreation will have fundamental effects on the emotional relationship between humans and the natural environment, resulting in a lessened emotional attachment to the land, especially in local areas. This may be critical to our future relationship to the land”
Aldo LEOPOLD • “Civilization has so cluttered this elemental man-earth relationship with gadgets and middlemen that awareness of it is growing dim. We fancy that industry supports us, forgetting what supports industry.”
“Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important that television.” • “The modern dogma is comfort at any cost.”
“But wherever the truth may lie, this much is crystal-clear: our bigger-and-better society is now like a hypochondriac, so obsessed with its own economic health as to have lost the capacity to remain healthy. . . . Nothing could be more salutary at this stage than a little healthy contempt for a plethora of material blessings.”