A2 Geography-The Technological Fix

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Mind Map on A2 Geography-The Technological Fix, created by sophielee0909 on 04/24/2014.

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Created by sophielee0909 over 5 years ago
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A2 Geography-The Technological Fix
1 Geography of technology
1.1 Geographical patterns & access
1.1.1 N v S divide on technology use- S America relatively high. Asia & Africa low percentage but Asian megacities (Mumbai & Shanghai) have high internet access levels.
1.1.2 Economics explains patterns.- Internet access costly in LDCs. Language-most webpages in English, Chinese or Spanish. Electricity & access to computer. Content needs to be what people want to use, Needs to be internet service providers.
1.1.3 Air travel- Some regions peripheral. Requires infrastructure(Airports), some global regions poorly integrated into global economy so little demand for travel. Lack of connections-new technology takes longer to reach places
1.2 Environmental determinism
1.2.1 more vunerable to environment due to lack of technology. Agricultural technology-crop production determined less by environment & farmers less vulnerable to hazards.-increases food security. Subsistence farming lacks this-need seed varieties, simple irrigation & fertilisers, not GM crops Agricultural technology & vunerability Irrigation-provide additional water for crops during dry periods/regions- without, dry regions produce fewer crops in shorter season, drought can lead to crop failure. Pesticides-Sprayed on crops to kill pests & increase yields by decreasing crop losses- without, crops vulnerable to pest plagues Fertilisers-Added to soil to provide additional nutrients for growth- without, yields restricted by natural nutrients Farm machinery- Used to replace human labour & increase efficiency- without, size of farmed area determined by population & distance to travel, crops abandoned during floods/severe weather-lack of people Hybridisation-Inter breeding of crop varieties under controlled conditions to produce disease/pest resistance & higher yields- without,Crops could become vulnerable to pests/disease
1.3 barriers & inequalities
1.3.1 Physical reasons-some renewable energy technologies are only suited to certain physical locations e.g solar/wind power. HEP-suitable water supply & valley.
1.3.2 Political reasons- N Korea-internet access prevented by government to control flow of information & ensure correct political message maintained
1.3.3 Environmental reasons-certain groups voluntarily shun certain technologies.Organic farmers-no pesticides/cattle antibiotics due to negative environmental & health impacts.
1.3.4 Religious reasons- contraceptive technology rejected by some religions-Catholic
1.3.5 Military reasons- nuclear technology controlled by international nuclear non-proliferation treaty-aims to prevent nuclear weapons falling into wrong hands. International Atomic Energy Agency-ensures states with nuclear power do not use it to develop nuclear weapons.
1.3.6 New inventions protected by intellectual property rights, patent given to the inventor to protect copying, inventors licence companies to manufacture new technology & receive royalties. Prevent drugs being made widely- charge high price to recoup R&D costs. Illegal copies in China/Brazil for HIV/AIDS.
1.4 medicines, crop breeding to increase yield-agricultural technology, petroleum & nuclear technology. Access to technology not evenly distributed.(electricity,sanitation, Internet access)
2 Technology & development
2.1 the technology gap
2.1.1 developed world increasingly knowledge based-monay made from ideas,information & services.- growth of knowledge economy promoted by globalisation of free markets/free trade, information/communications technology, networking using internet technology, high-tech products & services. developing world still industrial- Iphone- complex components made in NICs/Japan, less complex assembly-China. No role for least developed-Africa
2.1.2 R & D spending- globally $1 trillion- USA-1/3-most research personnel. technological innovations-2007-51% patents in USA, 20% Japan, 16% EU. MDC governments & TNCs invest in R&D, high university funding-graduates
2.2 leapfrogging
2.2.1 R&D hard for developing world- skilled researchers required, need investment in universities, most R&D by TNCs in MDCs, government budgets used for water/housing projects- little spare money, lab/research facilities expensive. NICs(Taiwan/S Korea-Samsung) big R&D spenders
2.2.2 Examples- Mobile phones without landlines, Laptops & wifi without broadband & computers, Solar panels/HEP without complex electricity transmission grid, GM crops. Mobile phones-leapfrogged landlines- requires installation of masts-limited signal coverage, electricity to charge-villages have car chargers. Increases ability to search for jobs, keep in touch with family, access market prices, warn of natural hazards. Lifestraw-Water purification- leapfrogged water purification & distribution network, 30cm tube, purifies water using filters-portable & lasts 1yr. Major health improvements- kills all bacteria & parasites.
2.2.3 Problems- developed world origins- MDCs collect royalties & profits
2.3 costs & benefits
2.3.1 externalities-unforseen impacts of technology-not accounted for in final costs of production.- unforeseen environmental impacts leading to social polarisation Green revolution- increased food supply in Asia, had to be redeveloped every few years as effected by pests & disease. Aim-High yielding crop varieties(HYVs) & fertilisers, irrigation & machinery. double wheat/rice yields. increasing food security. Impacts- Economic-Yields dramatically increase, 2 crop harvests per year, increased food security, Social- Machinery introduction-unemployment & increased urban migration, only well off farmers can afford, improved health & diet. Environmental- Increased fertiliser use-nutrient rich runoff & eutrophication, pesticide over-spray damages biodiversity, some HYV monocultures wiped out by pests/disease. gene revolution- much of production exported as fibre(cotton)/Cattle fees(maize/soy), food security often not increased. Aim- Genetic makeup of crops(maize,cotton,soy) altered so they are pest,disease,herbicide,drought resistant. yields & food/income security increase Impacts- Economic-Farmers more dependent on seeds/chemicals from TNCs, Some yields not increased, Increased exports/rising farm incomes. Social- Public reject technology(UK), Argentina-larger GM maize farmers buy out smaller ones-social polarisation, many crops for export not food. Environmental- Weeds develop resistance to herbicides, deforestation in latin America to increase farmed areas.
2.4 dealing with externalities
2.4.1 more technology-greater environmental impact- goods require resources-have to be extracted & processed. Manufacturing causes pollution, technology has to be powered by fossil fuels- higher co2 emissions/global warming impacts on humans/ecosystem wellbeing- rising sea levels-flood costal cities, increased sea temperatures-cause coral bleaching, increased drought-crop failure & water shortages, increased flooding-destroy homes. increasing pressure to move to polluter pays model- if people treat environment as pollution sink,have to pay green taxation- EU emissions trading scheme sets pollution quotas- can buy carbon credits, UK car tax linked to co2 produced per km.
3 Technology, environment & the future
3.1 contrasting approaches
3.1.1 Intermediate technology needs to be fit for purpose-low cost & easy to repair locally- environmentally friendly. Bottom up. Alternative technology-lowest environmental impact/pollution e.g solar powered water pump-NGO/TNC joint venture.
3.1.2 Intermediate technology- low cost, simple, small scale, local skills & resources e.g Village hand pump installed by NGO.
3.1.3 Mega-engineering projects-one-off solution at high capital cost e.g Large dam funded by government
3.1.4 high tech advanced technology e.g bioengineering/electronics, nanofiltrification systems from TNC R&D labs
3.2 Big fix
3.2.1 Geo-engineering- regional/global scale technology that re-engineers the way the planet works (global warming/land degradation) often transboundary-conflict proponents-techno-fixes more likely to work than persuasion to change lifestyles(attitudinal) precautionary principe-arguing against technology as unknown outcomes. Past failure- Aral Sea disaster Aim-Transform arid USSR land into productive cotton-growing farmland using mega-scale irrigation Technology-Dams & diversions of rivers to redirect flow along 40,000km of canals to irrigate 3.5m hectares of land Impacts/problems- Rivers dry up, Aral sea shrinks to 25% of original size, exposed sea bed scoured by wind creating salt storms & farm chemicals on people & land, chemical pollution increases cancer, fishing industry collapse, flora & fauna in sea died out. Future possibility-Artificial global dimming Aim-Reduce solar input by creating an artificial aerosol blanket in the atmosphere to reflect sunlight back into space Technology-aircraft/rockets/artillery/balloons -shoot sulfur dioxide aerosols into stratosphere to decrease concentrations Impacts/problems- Aerosols cool planet by reflecting incoming solar radiation & promoting cloud formation, calculating amount of sulfur dioxide required difficult & could increase acid rain, unforeseen climate alterations
3.3 Technology & sustainability
3.3.1 Need to maintain high human wellbeing and ecosystem- environmental sustainability index(ESI)- high human wellbeing(GDP), QoL index.
3.3.2 Sustainability of technology Economic- technology must be cost effective & affordable- no debt, costs not passed to others. Social- Benefit all parts of society & not polarise it, promote human health & wellbeing Environmental-produce little pollution, not have adverse consequences for ecosystems Resources-use renewable resources, power should avoid fossil fuel use
3.4 futures
3.4.1 Several possible futures- Divergent world-technological advances in developed world, lack of access in developing world. widen development gap- rely on aid Convergent world- increased transfer of technology to developing world. bridge development gap. current patenting & licensing does not allow. Intensify global warming Switch to renewable resources for making & powering technology. Fossil fuels-environmental issues, economic uncertainty(running out) LDCs- technology transfer relies on NGO development work (UK government). 2008-Global Environment Facility(GEF) given responsibility for technology transfer to developing world-energy efficient lighting & appliances, efficient & renewable power generation, fuel-cell buses -$3Billion annual budget- support of 180 countries- trying to prevent use of fossil fuels-stop global warming-needed for development & environmental sustainability
4 Synoptic links
4.1 Players- technology developed by TNCs- research innovations-GM crops, new drugs & IT applications. Technology rapidly adopted in developing world-NGOs responsible for introducing appropriate & intermediate technology
4.2 Actions- High tech/big fixed favoured by governments-visible solutions to national problems(three-gorges dam) Intermediate. appropriate technology-local & favoured by grass roots.sustainable development
4.3 Futures- Business as usual- developed world adopting new technology, developing have limited access. More sustainable-Wholesale technology transfer to developing-Improve QoL. Enhanced by radical adoption of renewable technology to replace energy intensive,polluting technologies in transport & energy supply e.g geo-engineering solutions
4.4 Links to other units-Unit 1-World at risk- technology may play role in managing global warming e.g costal defences, geo-engineering tech fixes. Unit 3- Water conflicts- dams,water transfer schemes,desalination. Energy security-renewable energy technology. Bridging the development gap-high tech top-down & intermediate technology bottom-up approach. Superpowers- rich & powerful develop most new technology- investment in R&D-control access-patents, royalties,licence fees. Hazard management-monitoring,prediction,relief,reconstruction.
4.5 links to wider global issues- global environment crisis- global warming,loss of biodiversity, water supply degradation, soil erosion. Appropriate technology-affordable & manageable. Development gap needs to be bridged-improved communications,energy supplies,drugs & farm technology- improved food security,decreased poverty & reduced vulnerability.

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