Technology, environment and the future

Mind Map by , created over 6 years ago

Mind Map on Technology, environment and the future, created by gracering on 05/15/2013.

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Created by gracering over 6 years ago
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Technology, environment and the future
1 Types of technological fix
1.1 Appropriate technology
1.1.1 Level of income, skill and needs of the local population
1.1.2 Does not necessarily mean low tech
1.1.3 Top Down: organised and controlled by TNCs. High Tech: reliant on sophisticated systems etc. Capital and energy intensive: complex to maintain and produce
1.1.4 Bottom Up: organised by locals/NGOs. Low Tech: older, tried and tested technology. Labour intensive: reliant on human/animal energy to build and run it
1.2 Megaprojects
1.2.1 Only way to develop a high income, consumer economy.
1.2.2 Civil engineering projects which reflect the top down approach
1.2.3 Locals generally have little input and many say that they abuse individual rights.
2 Overcoming environmental issues - Geoengineering
2.1 Sulphur Aerosols - Sulphate particles scattered in the stratosphere from balloons or planes block incoming solar radiation and cool the planet.
2.1.1 Costs $50 bil every 2 years, sulphur could damage ozone, acid rain could occur, rainfall may be disturbed.
2.2 Space Mirrors - Launching giant mirrors into orbit to reflect solar radiation away from Earth
2.2.1 Russian attempt failed in 1999, lightweight mirrors need to be developed, costs exceed $1 trillion
2.3 Ocean fertiliser: iron particles added to oceans to encourage plankton, which sequesters carbon dioxide as it grows.
2.3.1 Oceans could become acidified, extremely expensive, UN fears biodiversity would be harmed.
2.4 Synthetic Trees - intended to sequester 90000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Use sodium hydroxide to capture carbon which would need to be buried
2.4.1 Lots of trees needed, takes up a lot of space, trees would need to be powered, deep burial sites are needed.
3 Sustainable futures
3.1 Many argue against geoengineering as it allows pollution to continue
3.2 A change of attitude is required to stop the problem rather than focussing on developing new technology
3.3 Assessing Sustainability on a microgeneration house
3.3.1 Futurity (will it last) - most installations have a 30 year design life and should perform well over this period
3.3.2 Equity (Does it benefit everyone) - Installations are expensive an there is a risk that only wealthy benefit. Some installations have negative externalities.
3.3.3 Public perceptions (is it bottom up) - as the installations are small scale, home owners can decide which suit them best
3.3.4 Environment (Is it eco-friendly?) - the installation are zero carbon but they use resources ad energy during manufacturing
4 Business as usual
4.1 Likely to lead to further increases in emissions, land degradation and water shortages
4.2 Global inequality is likely to grow
4.3 Bangladesh - 10 million live on land less than 1m above sea level. Groundwater has turned salty, affecting food security.
4.3.1 Sea level might be slowed if different technology was used
4.3.2 Coastal population might be relocated inland
4.3.3 Traditional farming methods used
4.3.4 Sea defences could be constructed
4.3.5 Flood warning technology
5 Technological Convergence
5.1 Around 700 million vehicles globally
5.1.1 Seen as a status symbol
5.1.2 Increase mobility
5.2 The spread of motor vehicles is an example of technological convergence
5.2.1 Allow individual mobility
5.2.2 Road transport plays a key role in development
5.2.3 Transport in industry accounts for 5-10% of GNP
5.3 Indian built Tato Nano, priced at $2500, shows how keen LEDCs are to get mobile
5.4 More cars = more emissions
6 Energy Efficiency
6.1 12% of GHG emissions come from transport - likely to increase as car numbers grow
6.1.1 Price of fuel - reduce demand
6.2 Global competition to find a 100mpg 4 seater car - winner wines $7.5 million
6.3 If widely adopted, could have a dramatic impact on GHG emissions.
6.4 Electric cars could reduce emissions if they use renewable sources of electricity. Lightweight batteries are expensive. Limited distance can be covered by a single charge.
6.5 Hydrogen cars will only emit water vapour, producing hydrogen is energy intensive. Major safety issues, H is extremely flammable.
6.6 Biofuel is close to carbon neutral, concerns about land to grow plants for fuel rather than food.
7 Technology Transfer
7.1 IMF - the world is becoming increasingly unequal since 1980. Due to technology
7.1.1 Rising levels of technology requires a workforce with skills and education
7.2 Education was key to ensuring people in LDCs could benefit from new technology
7.3 To prevent the technology gap from widening further, technology transfer to the LDCs is required.
7.4 Commitment to development technology index
7.4.1 Measures MDCs willingness to allow technology transfer
7.4.2 Countries with high index scores, such as France, are characterised as: Refusing to grant patents for new plant varieties - could deprive LDCs Not using bilateral aid as a lever to extend intellectual property rights
7.5 If MDCs want LDCs to adopt technologies that might help, they have to be available at a low cost.
7.5.1 Achieved by: waiving patent and intellectual rights.
7.6 Solar power - if extensively used must be cheaper than fossil fuels.
7.6.1 Rely on NGOs to provide funding required to use the technology.
7.6.2 Practical Action - Installed 6000 water pumps to LDCs at a cost of $6000
7.6.3 Provide 40ltrs per person per day, improve food security and health. They store 3-5 days of water as a buffer against cloudy periods.

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