Technological fix

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What is the techno fix?

Techno fix- An innovation waiting to happen what will solve, or find a solution/ 'cure' for a problem- For example global warming.

Technocentrism-is a term that denotes a value system that is centered on technology and its ability to control and protect the environment.

The development of new technology in an attempt to solve issues of humanity-

There are a number of key ideas connected with technology-

  • New technologies have a life cycle.
  • Decline of old technology begins when new technologies become mainstream.
  • Life cycles have become shorter over time as new technologys become more regular.
  • The speed of technological growth has increased over time. Image of the 'technological life cycle model'
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Technology and nature

Over time people have used technology to controal nature, so that there lifes are less determined by natural processes- enviromental ditermanism- This occurs in places such as Haiti.

Examples of this provention of nature include-

  • Using an umbrella when it is raining.
  • Taking medicine to fight infection.
  • Irrigating the desets to grow crops for food.
  • Keeping food in the fridge to stop it going off.
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Differing attitudes to technology

  • ·     ·      MAINSTREAM’ In general people accsept new technology when they feel it will benefit and improve their lives- mobile phone and computers.
  • ·      ‘TECHIES’ people who positively seek out new technology and are ‘early adaptors’ of new technology
  • ·                
  • ·      ‘Luddites’ these are people who are apposed to technological change- some feel that technology is replacing humans for example in work forces. - AMISH CASE STUDIE.
  • ·                
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Distribution of technology


·      Countries with higher levels of development tend to have higher levels of access to technology.

·      This is shown in the ‘DIGITAL ACCESS INDEX’ countries with an index of over 75 are HYPOCONNECTED.

·      Hypo connected areas usually have a majority workforce of the ‘knowledge economy’ such as East Asia, USA and the EU.

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Fossil fuels

·      A key issue of the future of the developed world is the dependence they have on fossil fuels.

·      Fossil fuels give a vast amount of energy to modern technology.

·      In 2006 fossil fuels supplied 86% of global energy use.


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Access to technolgy

·      Technology can decrease risk and increase expectations and development.

·      Haiti high risk-

·      Lacks technology to improve life expectancy. It’s at risk from a number of issued natural and man mad-

·      NATURAL DISASTERS- fails to have equipment to provide warning and evacuation systems

·      DISEASE- Only 54% of their population has access to a clean water supply- this dirty water and sewage system mean an increase in water born disease.

·      HIV/AIDS- Lacks money or innovation to create or supply a drug to prolong life.

·      Lack of education means the problem fails to improve.


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Link between techno and development


·      The developed world has an initial advantage due to its continuous innovation in new technology.

·      Development brings with it infrastructure needed for technical advantages-

·      Education

·      Governments

·      TNC investment


·      The USA accounts for 40% of new patents.

·      Spends $288billion on new innovations


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·      Technological leapfrogging provides a ‘quick fix’ or ‘short cut’- Telephones in India

·      Solar power in Iraq.

·      This idea of leap frogging allows countries that are newly developing to progress far quicker and emerge into the western world.


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The green and Gene revolution.

 1960’s green and 1990’s gene -    Both sought to bring about huge developments in crop yields.

·      THE GREEN REVOLUTION-In order to improve crop yield a new farming system involving fertilizers, irrigation and pesticides was adapted.

      THE GENE REVOLUTION- Generically modified verities of cash crops – cotton and rice- they can be modified to become drought resistant act.


·      SOCIAL POLARISATION- farmers who could afford these pesticides and irrigation techniques benefited the most and then had a greater advantage over poorer farms thus increasing the problem.

·      DEPENDENCY- without the pesticides the plants wouldn’t grow then forcing the farmers to continue to pay the high fertilizer costs.

Enviromental issues-eutrophication problems then take over ecosystems disrupting the dynamic equilibrium of an ecosystem

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Pollution sinks

·      Pollutions that are emitted into the atmosphere

·      Global warming is now seen as a constant threat meaning it is externalities of the development in modern technology such as cars.

·      To combat this the introduction of PPP- Polluter Pay Principle, this quantifies the cost of pollution and passes it back as a fine or tax.




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Issues happening today.

·      Thomas Malthus- a world where population outstrips supply.

·      Shortages of fossil fuels- reaching peak oil

·      Global population growth- estimated to be 8 billion by 2030

·      Poverty 11 million live on less the $1 per day

·      Climate change- increase of 1-2C by 2030

·      Water shortages- 30% less access to water then today

·      Famine- increasing global food insecurities.

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Techno fix's

·      Appropriate technology varies depending on the level of development and how people need to use the technology-Pumpkin tank for less developed areas.

·      TOP DOWN- organizations contorted by TNC’s, large scale and expensive.

·      BOTTOM UP- organized by local groups, only using technology available to the local people- usually more sustainable as it’s in keeping with the needs and ability of the locals.

·      HIGH TEC- reliant and sophisticated systems, specialized skills and advanced materials.

·      LOW TEC- older tried and tested technology.

·      CAPITIAN AND ENERGY INTENSIVE-technology, which is powered, and complex to maintain.

·      LABOUR INTENSIVE- technology, which relies on human – or animal- energy to run

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The sustainability quadrat


·      EQUITY-



You apply these criteria to the prospective project to assess weather it’s sustainable as a project

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Technology for all?

Our current model of technological development, with it's dependence on fossil fules seems impractical and to hold a number of issues. This Business as usual model would continue to produce and emmit green house gases into the enviroment thus increaseing climate change.

Issues that will be cuase by continuing with this model-

·      Poor countries will be affected the most.

·      BANGLIDESH- 10 million living on land only 1 meter above sea level.


·      Electric cars

·      Hydrogen cars

·      Biofuels

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Transferring technology.

·      2007 IMF report declared the world is becoming less equal since 1980.

·      It suggested this is because-

·      Rising level of technology used for workforce and progression, which poor can’t afford.

·      Trained labor is needed- Asia’s newly trained workforce.

·      Education is key in development of the next generation.

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The future

·      We are addicted to fossil fuel run technology.

·      The development gap is getting larger.

·      Technology has a role to play in narrowing the development gap.

·      We need to develop environmentally friendly technology.


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