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(6) The technological fix
6.1 The geography of technology

6.1.1 What is technology?

Humans invent technology and it is with this that we are set apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. Human
inventions include tools, machines and systems. Technology allows humans to control their environment and
improve quality…

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Economics explains much of this pattern. In Uganda in 2006, it cost $2300 for an annual Internet connection, far
beyond most people's economic means/situation. There are also a number of other barriers to Internet access:

Language ­ most web pages are in English, Chinese or Spanish
Electricity ­ required and…

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6.1.4 Barriers and inequalities

Access to the numerous technologies is usually very strongly correlated with the level of economic development in the
region, but there are also other factors which explain the lack of access to, or an unwillingness to use, particular
technologies:

Physical reasons ­ renewable energy technologies are…

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Much of the developing world is still industrial. Apple's iPhone illustrates the technology gap. As with many industrial
products, complex components are made in Japan and the NICs. Less complex assembly is completed in China. The
LICs, e.g. Africa plays no role in the iPhone design or manufacture.

Research and…

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For other developing countries, technological leapfrogging provides one possibility. This is when a technology is
adopted without a precursor technology. The classic example is mobile phones, which have been adopted by
countries that don't already have an extensive landline network, there are, of course, a number of other examples:

Laptops…

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6.2.4 Dealing with externalities

Using technology has consequences. The more technology we use, the greater the environmental impact. This is due
to:

Goods require resources, which have to be extracted and processed
Manufacturing causes pollution
Technology has to be powered or fuelled, which usually means fossil fuel use

The most…

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"Small is beautiful" "The bigger the better" "High tech is best" "Renewable future"

Intermediate technology ­ Mega-engineering projects Most advanced solution Alternative technology ­
low cost, simple, small that provide a one off possible/currently available lowest possible
scale, using local resources solution at very high capital e.g. nanotechnology, environmental impact…

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The Aral Sea is often viewed as the world's worst ecological disaster ­ increasing cotton production but destroying
the ecology of the world's fourth largest inland sea. Opponents of geo-engineering argue we can never know the full
effects of such large-scale schemes until it's too late. Any further attempts to…

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Switching world ­ to a more renewable resource based one. Making and powering technology with renewable
resources avoids the negative outcomes.

There's some evidence of convergence, albeit only in a very limited number of countries. China's R&D is growing close
to that of Japan's (23% between 2001 and 2006) whilst…

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6.5 Summary
Technology allows humans to control the environment effectively and improve QOL
Scales ­ from mega high-tech projects to small-scale low-cost projects and emerging nanotechnology to
biotechnology
Access varies ­ north-south divide, socio-cultural, political & economic factors
Barriers to development ­ physical, environmental, political, cultural, religious and economic
Leapfrogging…

Comments

harang

this is AMAZING!!!!! thank you sooo much!! :D

harang

this is AMAZING!!!!! thank you sooo much!! :D

Bethany Cunningham

I definitely agree technological fix (hopefully) provides the solution to the contested planet problems. Anyway, another great resource, thanks again!

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