Maybe we already have what we need to solve our greatest environmental challenges.
Technology is often touted as the savior that will rescue us from our misbegotten ways, redeem us and put us on the track to utopia.
Then there are the dystopian views, where the future is dominated by technology that either rules over us or saps us so completely of our humanity that we might as well be a bunch of gadgets ourselves.
Whatever your view, there’s no denying that technology has both made life better for billions of people and produced unfortunate side effects. In his book The Infinite Resource, for example, technologist Ramez Naam argues that the green revolution was beneficial even though it created problems that still plague us today. “As is often the case,” he writes, “the solutions to one problem have created new problems. But, had we not boosted yields through the green revolution, we either would have had billions starving or would have been forced to chop down the world’s remaining forests to feed the world. Either of those would be a worse result than the side effects we face now.”