By Anders Lorenzen
Whether you like it or not, technology is playing a bigger and bigger role in relation to climate change. On one hand, our addiction to gadgets, smartphones and other tech devices come with a huge carbon footprint. On the other, technology is consistently also offering critical solutions to our efforts to tackle climate change.
Let me give some examples. As we know our cities will have to become greener and more efficient, we’re moving more towards smart cities. The same goes for our homes, in this case, smart homes. But we don’t yet know how, precisely, these will look. Technology has to come up with the innovations, though we’re seeing several different ideas emerge.
How can technology distribute our energy so we reduce consumption and emissions without switching anything off? How can technology help manage renewable energy so we can switch off fossil fuelled power plants faster? And how can we use drones to clamp down on deforestation and other environmental crimes? These are all important talking points that we need to discuss.
But there is, of course, divided opinion on how far technology should, and can, go. For instance, should technology take on a role in education and awareness by integrating climate change into the gaming industry? Reaching for new, unique audiences. And what about virtual reality? Could VR help to give us experiences of sensitive environments, increasing empathy and a willingness to protect such areas as a result?
I could give countless other examples. Naturally, environmentalists are going to be split on these issues, but it is nevertheless important we talk, highlight and debate them. That is why we have set up the Tech for Climate section where we will collect all our climate change and tech related stories – we want this to be a place stimulating debate.
The debate should not be one sided and there are two crucial issues here as mentioned at the beginning. One concerns adopting technology at a faster and faster rate. What impact will that have on our energy consumption and emissions? The other point is how can technology come up with new ways to tackle climate change?
Feel free to input your view in the comments.