Technology is Making Cities Smart, but it is Also Costing the Environment
Over the last two or three decades, technology and science has been rapidly advancing on a regular basis and has made a significant impact on our lives. To be precise, we are surrounded by technology on all sides. It is the technology that has given us comfort and luxury in our lives, without which we are unable to do at this point in time. It is true that technology has brought about a great deal of improvement in the world in almost every aspect. Moreover, it has converted homes into smart homes ang cities into smart cities. Thus, it is very clearly understood that technology has brought about a lot of positivity into our lives and the world as a whole. To be precise, it is the technology that has brought about significant transformations in the world, and its benefits have far-reaching effects on our lives. But at the same time, it is also costing the environment, thereby creating a negative impact as well. Now, let us delve a bit deeper into the topic to understand how technology is costing the environment.
Polluting the environment is one of the biggest downsides of technology and science. Technology and science causes both air as well as water pollution, which can prove to be very costly in the time to come if not taken seriously. Air pollution occurs when harmful gases in excessive quantities are introduced into the atmosphere of our earth. The major sources of all these pollutants relate to technologies that have emerged over the years and have transformed cities into smart cities. The after-effects of air pollution have created a negative impact on the health of humans, animals and global warming. On the other hand, water pollution leads to the contamination of different water bodies like oceans, seas, lakes as a result of a wide array of wastes arising out of technical advancement. This, in turn, not only destroys the aquatic habitat but also causes a lot of disturbance in the entire environmental ecosystem, thereby negatively impacting the food chain as a whole. Other harmful effects or water pollution include a wide range of water-borne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, and many more.
Natural Resources Depletion
The depletion of resources of nature is another negative impact of technology and science on the environment. Depletion of natural resources refers to the consumption of the resources of nature at a higher rate than it can be replenished. The resources here consist of those that are available naturally without any kind of human intervention. There are different types of depletion of natural resources, with deforestation, aquifer depletion, soil erosion, and mining being the most severe ones. These occur as a result of the advancements in technology such as mining, fossil fuel consumption, and many more. With the rising level of pollution, the available natural resources are also being rapidly degraded.
A combination of advancements in technology and science, along with research & development have made the exploitation of natural resources much easier, which in turn has resulted in several resources entering into a production decline. The rate of deforestation has been quite severe over the last three decades. According to World Bank’s technology news about 1.3 million square kilometres net loss of global forests from the year 1990 to 2015. It is precisely how technically advanced smarter cities are costing the environment. In addition to this, advancement in technology leads to very high energy usage, which is again a stress on the environment as the natural resources are being exploited to meet the energy demands of the world.
E wastes or electronic wastes are other major components arising out of technology and science that severely cost the environment. E-waste is any electronic product or other products containing electronic components that have completed their usable life cycle. These electronic items created by technological advancements contain a number of toxic substances which, when released into the environment, can cause severe damage. Thus, it is of immense importance to appropriately recycle or handle with care at the time when these electronic products become outdated. E wastes can be potentially harmful to human beings, animals, birds, trees, and other living beings if not disposed of in the proper manner. At the same time, it harms the global environment, so the essence of suitable disposal of e wastes is to be understood by all.
Computers, laptops, and most other electronic devices contain highly toxic materials like zinc, lead, chromium, barium, and many more, which, when released into the environment, can cause severe damage to the central as well as the peripheral nervous system in humans. When e wastes are warmed up, toxic chemicals are released into the air, thereby damaging the atmosphere. The harm caused to the atmosphere is one of the worst environmental impacts resulting from e wastes. If the electronic wastes are thrown into the landfills, the toxic substances seep into the groundwater that affects both land as well as aquatic animals. Thus, the dumping of e wastes is to be strictly avoided. E wastes not only costs the environment to a great extent but also causes a lot of problems in human beings and other living beings, making the world an unhealthy place to live in.
Thus, it can be very clearly understood that technology and science has a lot of negative effects in spite of its numerous positive sides. Though the world and its cities are becoming smarter, it is costing the environment to a great extent. If the situation is not handled carefully, it can cause irreversible damage to the environment, which in turn might make our earth a difficult place to live in. There are a number of environmental awareness campaigns being conducted all around the world, with each country’s government actively participating in educating its citizens to save the precious environment from degrading further. The entire world is moving ahead together and taking all the necessary steps to make sure that our earth becomes better as well as a healthier place to live in.