First 426 words of the document:
Can technology help solve global warming?
Technology from a "bottoms up" intermediate level to a geoengineering
`planetary' scale level can be used to help solve global warming.
According to Greenpeace, the solutions to global warming are "renewable
energy, energy efficiency and new environmentally sound technologies"
RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGIES include wind turbines, solar panels and HEP
schemes which could be used at a large scale to meet growing national
needs e.g. the wind farm off the Isle of Thanet in Kent, or it could be
used at a local/community level e.g. solar panels on people's roofs as
part of the "microgeneration".
ENERGY EFFICIENCY TECHNOLOGIES can help reduce emissions being
released into the atmosphere e.g. triple glazed windows and air source
heat pumps being used in homes. For example, the BedZED community in
South London is an environmentally housing development incorporating
many energy efficient technologies.
GEOENGINEERING e.g. ocean fertilisation, sulphur aerosols and giant
space mirrors could be used to help solve global warming.
However, there are externalities associated with some of these technologies
e.g. ocean fertilisation which increases carbon sink ability by putting iron into
the oceans would have a huge impact on marine ecosystems. Also use of
sulphur aerosols could increase acid rain and turn the sky green!
This use of technology promotes `business as usual' and therefore an
attitudinal fix could be seen as the best option for a more sustainable
environmental future. Attitudinal fixes can also occur at a national level e.g.
governments introducing green taxation or at an individual level e.g. using
public transport. Following Cameron Dunn's (2009) 5 energy `R's i.e. refusing
polluting energy sources, reducing consumption, researching new technologies,
recycling and replacing inefficient technologies could have a massive impact
on future global warming.
Attitudinal fixes offer a more sustainable future and smaller ecofootprints but
there are huge obstacles to their success (e.g. getting people to accept green
taxation). In addition the protracted time scale involved in adapting the 5 "R"s
is frustrating without a real political lead. People are often hypocritical in
adopting green technologies for example NIMBYISM and onshore wind.
Radical change is needed for people to reduce their consumption habits.
Geoengineering (e.g. space mirrors and CCS) may be a necessary short term