The UK Government has declared a climate change emergency, could technology save the planet?
Humans have an exceptional ability to adapt to changes in their environment, with many suggesting that humans are the most adaptable mammals to ever walk the planet. However, with climate change posing huge risks to our environment, the future of life on Earth is at risk.
So, with a climate change emergency being issued by the UK Government, we’re asking whether human evolution can handle the future of climate change and whether the fourth industrial revolution will be able to save us.
Why Has A Climate Change Emergency Been Declared?
After years of protests and hundreds of research papers proving that climate change is one of the biggest threats facing the planet, the UK has declared a state of emergency. In practical terms, this means that the UK Government can now act on any emergency climate change matter without a vote, but in terms of the impact on awareness of the issue, it’s a huge move.
If we continue to abuse our natural infrastructure as we have done over the past 50 years, we will not survive on planet Earth for much longer. As the World Economic Forum notes, although humans represent a mere 0.01% of all life on Earth, we’ve caused a loss of half of the world’s plants and 83% of all wild mammals.
The impact of this destruction has seen a rapid and terrifying change on our ecosystems. For the first time, climate change is threatening not only the survival of other species’, but human chances of survival. Whilst we may have been able to evolve to environmental changes in the past, such rapid change has meant that we cannot evolve quickly enough.
Can Technology Save The Planet?
With ecological collapse on the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report List last year, there’s no time like the present when it comes to addressing climate change. Many hope that technology will assist us in reversing damage and planning a more sustainable future.
Here’s how technology could help us tackle climate change and save the planet:
Humans are exceptional communicators, and technological evolution has meant that we have new ways to organise, respond and act. With the rise of the internet, we are able to create greater awareness, and use digital communication to organise and structure change.
The WWF has noted that the IOT could use smart conversation in order to redesign conservation practices that will help us manage environmental change. Animal tracking and water management could be made more efficient with the help of the IOT, which will naturally reduce the strain on resources such as fuel and natural materials.
Many reports predict that humans will be able to use satellite tracking technology to analyse environments and identify areas that need urgent management. This new technology will enable us to manage our ecosystems better and increase biodiversity.
Recovering Threatened Populations
There’s no doubt that technology will be able to assist us with recovering threatened populations. Issues In Science and Technology Magazine has suggested that cloning could be used to help genetic diversity in plant and animal life, which will help us diversify our environment and sustain life on Earth.
Recycling Carbon Dioxide
In Iceland, work is already underway to ensure that they reduce carbon emissions. With a technology that uses geothermal energy, Iceland is producing methanol from geothermal plants and selling it into the European fuel market. Using technology to reduce and reuse carbon dioxide could help us manage climate change.
With technological advancements, humanity may be able to reduce the CO2 pollution that occurs as a result of transport. At present, 23% of global CO2 emissions come from human transport but with electric cars becoming widespread, we may be able to change that.
In the future, we will need to use technology to combat climate change – however, doing so comes with huge risks. Essentially we are trying to adjust our environment in order to sustain ourselves, which is quite a volatile task. AI will help us combat risks and predict which climate change solutions will work best.