7 Billion Fools

Would techonology  solve the  environmental mess? Only fools do the same thing twice and expect different results.
The worldwide environmental crisis has become an issue. Many argue that the real problem lies in the number of people and our standard of living. For them, the development of more efficient technologies is the answer.
I don’t agree. Efficient technologies ARE the origin of population growth, the increase of wealth, the upsurge in goods and fuel consumption, and therefore, the ultimate cause of the environmental mess. With 18th century technology, would it have been possible for the population to reach 7 billion people and for our consumption to reach its current levels? I don’t think so.
It is estimated that at the beginning of the 1700’s human population was around 600 million people. Back then the sources of energy were wood, wind, water flows, animal power and some strong men and women. No fossil fuel-based technology was used in agriculture, transportation or industry. At that time, the steam engine was so inefficient and required so much coal that this crude fuel-based machinery made sense only at the coal mines themselves. It was used to pump water out of the mines only.
During the 18th century, self-made engineers set out to improve the efficiency of steam engines. They came up with new designs that made engines more efficient, smaller and, as a result, much cheaper. The industrial revolution was on its way. These technological advances led to steamboats and railway locomotives. A few years later, by the mid-1800´s, a breakthrough in agriculture occurred. A steam-powered tractor was devised. The road to farm mechanization was wide open. Food production was about to explode. Population growth would follow(1). The ground was fertile for mass consumption.
In this 21st century, most of the population growth is expected in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The implementation of new technologies is still boosting population growth and human development in these regions. I won’t deny the right of these people to have access to plenty of food and a better standard of living. What I am saying is that if we focus, as we have done for the last 300 years, on more efficient technologies ONLY, we will certainly aggravate the environmental mess.
Only fools do the same thing time and again and expect different results 2.
  1. Sanitation awareness and public health measures played an important role as well. They helped to decrease mortality rates.
  2. Albert Einstein

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