Technology and ecology: concepts adapted at the time
We will not question your intelligence or your culture, you certainly know the meaning of these words. It is interesting to note, however, that the concepts behind these terms have evolved to adapt to society.
The term technology comes from the Greek "tchn" which refers to art, craft, skill doing something, plus the suffix -logy that comes from Latin (and greek -logia) which means the study . Larousse, proposes several definitions, the noblest so much this one: "Cohesive set of knowledge and practices in a certain technical field, based on scientific principles". To this concept of technology came a rapid addition to an element that we did not find in the original sense: the exploitation of technology for commercial purposes. So when we talk about technology, we can talk about a product as well as a market.
The ecology comes from the Greek "oikos" which represents the house, the home, and again the suffix "logie". It is therefore the study of the environment in which we live. The Larousse dictionary defines it in the following way: "Science having for object the relations of very alive (animals, plants, micro-organisms) with their environment, as well as with the other very alive." It is interesting to note the use of the word science. In fact, ecology is a science, it is far from new, but the meaning given to this word has also been broadened, to the extent that ecology is often associated with politics.
"Science is what the father teaches his son. Technology is what the son teaches his dad."This quote from the famous philosopher Michel Serres highlights – not without some humor – an important element: the role of the" young "on technology, which is omnipresent in their universe, even more than in the generation of their own. parents and their grandparents, it has practically cradled young generations from their earliest childhood.While sociologists like Jacques Ellul have put forward the dangerous side it can represent, young people, they are more and more However, they are also dependent on their environment and the whole problem is that their (high) technology does not do the right thing for the environment, in other words, it is important to find a land. agreement between technology and ecology.
How does technology influence the environment?
Whether it is a problem of direct interaction with environmental actors (for example the stress of the use of cameras on birds) or the problems of management of the material (the smartphones uses or the servers permanently allums ), technology plays a role in the environment. Fortunately, ecological awareness has come a long way and is gaining ground in new territories such as industries, the latter of which are now struggling to limit or reduce their impact on the environment.
At a time when the importance of technology has come to interest sociologists, where psychologists see the arrival of nomophobes, and where the role of waves on the human body is a source of questions, how to tackle this delicate subject, another negative aspect. of technology? The fanaticism towards technology ("all that is new is good") blinds many users, especially the most dependent, and the critics the place of their sacrosanct lady technology are hardly appreciated. Others, conversely, focus on the bad aspects and almost regret the time when there was not even electricity, carried by the logic of "it was better before". Fortunately, users are not all hyper-connects / hyper-alins, as can be heard on France Inter, or ultraconservatives anti-progress.
It is important to see critically the closion of all these new technologies that are – perhaps rightly – presented as ecological solutions. We purposely use the term solutions, this is obviously a response to a problem, or more precisely problems: recycling is problematic, pollution is a problem, the production of (many) appliances poses a problem, even the development of some components are also problematic. This is notably the case of the production of lithium, a precious material for our batteries, which has a negative impact visible on the environment.
The game is not lost
It's hard to convince people to be co-leaders, any activist cologist knows. Things are not different with technology: who among us buys a recycled smartphone rather than a new smartphone? Who will wonder what to do with his old smartphone instead of throwing it out?
Users must of course rethink the use they make of technology but it would be too easy to put everything on their backs: not only is it the duty of companies to do the same, but they must also be innovative that they claim to be by proposing improvements in this direction. For example, finally developing a battery system that is not low on lithium, which has a cleaner mode of production and that quickly the user to take energy every day.
The use of low tech is also an interesting solution in cases where it can replace high tech. Low is the opposite of high, the term low tech is therefore opposed to the exact opposite of high technology. In practice, it involves various simple but ingenious techniques that are carried out from an ecological perspective, that is to say based on natural elements or recycled, the reverse of high tech that often involves the use of polluting material or difficult to find. Note that this term should not be confused with Green Tech, which is high-tech that aims to improve the environment.
In short, technology has to put the page and introduce ecological measures. This is paradoxical because the nature itself of technology, and more particularly of high technology, opposes the safeguarding of the environment in many ways, the most egregious perhaps the production and the lack of recycling of the environment. hardware. The modern mentality as well as the governmental and European norms imply certain rules but it is far from being sufficient, the companies must make much more efforts, as well as the consumers.
Do you find that tech companies are doing enough in the field of ecology or, on the contrary, that their interest in the consumer is only a big problem?
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