Technological fix revision notes

Overview and notes for the technological fix.

Edexcel, A2, contested planet.

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Technological fix
The geography of technology
Defining technology
Examiner's tip: make sure you learn the definition of technology for the exam.
TECHNOLOGY-the development of knowledge, techniques and systems which can be used to help solve problems and extend
human capabilities. People require innovative change to modify the environment to supply human needs.
Examiner's tip: don't write vaguely about cars and computers as examples of modern technology-try to be specific.
Continuing technological develops may assist with the world's contested problems.
Access varies according to levels of development.
Why do we need technology?
I. Controlling the environment, e.g. crop irrigation.
II. Increasing food production, e.g. fertilisers and pesticides.
III. Raising manufacturing outputs to create more efficient systems.
IV. Inventing new and faster ways of moving people, commodities and communication.
V. Extending life expectancy with new medicines and treatment.
VI. Raising the ability to attack and defend territory.
Geographical distribution
The global distributions of technology and the pattern of dependence on it are not even. This disparity occurs because of the close
links between economic development and technology.
INTERMEDIATE TECHNOLOGY-this is tools and technology for developing countries that are significantly more effective and
expensive than traditional methods but cheaper than developed world technology.
PERVASIVE- existing in all parts, or spreading gradually.
Access to technology
Examiner's tip: learn a range of examples of where and why technology is not available to some people.
DIGITAL ACCESS INDEX-this is produced by the International Telecommunication Union which measures the access to ICT of people
in 178 countries.
The difference in wealth and level of development explains why some parts of the world are at the cutting edge of new technologies,
whereas, others lack even the most basic access to technology.
Money is a key requirement but the access to technology also requires:
Establishment of the level of the need and the potential benefits to be gained.
Understanding how to make the best use of it.
Being able to maintain it properly.
ENVIRONMENTAL DETERMINISM-this is where countries have virtually no access because they are vulnerable to any challenges the
environment may present, e.g. volcanic eruptions.
Technology can help reduce natural hazards through prediction and adjustment.

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Examples of access denied technology
HIV/AIDS- the retroviral drugs are protected by companies that have developed them and this prevents cheap `generic'
copies being made so the developing world cannot afford.
Nuclear technology is denied in countries such as Iraq, Iran and North Korea because of the economic sanctions placed
by superpowers and so prevented their access to nuclear power.
Communications- in North Korea, citizens have been banned from having private phones or mobiles since 2004.…read more

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However, as a result of the increased changes due to climate change, this means that by 2030 the barrier will be unable to cope.
This is because the risk that London could flood has doubled from 1/2000 to 1/1000. Yet it could last until 2070 if upgraded and
this takes into consideration the worst case climate change scenario (business as usual) of a sea level rise at 2.7m.
50% of the population live below the poverty line.…read more

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Nigeria has the largest internet access in Africa.
LEAPFROGGING has occurred.
What are the barriers to access?
Poverty/economic development-wealth are required to implement new technology.
Political stability-a country must be politically stable in order to make technological advances. The instability in Libya
is probably the reason behind its low percentage of internet access.
Physical environment-extreme environments may restrict the ability to implement new infrastructures.
Current infrastructure-this may prevent the introduction of new technologies.…read more

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Patent system allows businesses and individuals to benefit from their inventions which can prevent access and innovation.
Globally, the WTO protects intellectual properties
Technological leapfrogging
What have been the emerging technologies that allowed this?
o 1800s- telegraph
o 1940-TV
o 1970/1980- PCs and mobile phones.
o 1990/2000- internet.
According to the World Bank, 75% of the world's population have a mobile subscription.…read more

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There are two approaches to the issue of environmental damage and pollution:
Following World War II, it was promoted as a `wonder-chemical', the simple solution to pest
problems large and small; however, it was banned for agricultural uses worldwide by the 2001
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. The only remaining use of DDT is to
control malaria.
Possible human health harm as a result:
Suggested to be link to Alzheimer's disease although there is no direct link.
Male infertility.…read more

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How is Western Europe tackling CO2 emissions?
`Environmental zones' ­ this has occurred in Berlin, Cologne and Hanover where all vehicles must display a coloured
sticker which costs 10 to enter the city centres.
Market-based: incentives to not go into the city centre by cars.
`Electronic heavy goods vehicle toll system'- they are compulsory throughout Germany's motorways where lorries have
to carry a satellite transmitter and are charged 0.15 per km.
Command and control principle: enforced by law, this is compulsory.…read more

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Sulphur is also able to absorb the heat rising up from the Earth's surface and so reduce the temperature difference between
the lower and upper atmosphere.
It has a potential to reduce the temperature by 0.5 degrees Celsius.
What technology is involved?
Used a water pump and a helium filled water balloon in the recent test.
Would it actually work?
The effects wouldn't be uniform; there would be variance throughout the world, e.g.…read more

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Iron fertilisation (`seeding the ocean')
Iron acts as a fertiliser for many plants, e.g. phytoplankton which stimulates the growth and is used for carbon dioxide
through photosynthesis.
This is supposed to help reduce the temperatures.
Changing the structure of the food web by infusing the ocean with iron and promoting phytoplankton growth.
It could increase levels of nitrous oxide and methane.…read more

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Synoptic links
Unit 1
World at risk
Adaption strategies.
Large-scale geo-engineering technological fixes.
Unit 3
Energy security
Renewable energy technology.
Water conflicts
High-tech engineering technologies.
Intermediate technologies.
Bridging the development gap
Use of intermediate technology.
Use of high-tech projects.
Superpower geographies
Research and development.
Patents, royalties and licence fees.
Control of access.
Unit 4
Tectonic activity and hazards
Hazard management, e.g. monitoring, prediction, relief and reconstruction.
Wider global issues
Global environmental crisis global warming, loss of biodiversity, water supply degradation and soil erosion.…read more


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