4 Ways Technology Can Fight Climate Change
Climate change is a word that has echoed and reverberated worldwide. But what is it? According to Yeb Saño, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, "Climate change is the world's most serious environmental problem. It is primarily a result of the burning of fossil fuels so that we can generate electricity, make our cars run and our planes fly, manufacture things like cement and other industrial materials. To a huge extent, it is also a result of the loss of our forests, the conversion of high-carbon natural areas into industrial plantations, and the raising of livestock."
It has been said that because climate change is a man-made problem, then there must be a man-made solution. Enter tech solutions that can help address this problem. According to Saño "Technologies, that can help us avoid burning fossil fuels, using more paper, or eating meat, can go a long way in the mitigation of climate change.”
Saño is quick to point out that technology is just one side of the coin. The other side is human behavior. “Technology would not work if we do not use it the right way or if not enough people embrace it," he explains.
Though climate change affects each continent and each country differently, through concerted effort, technology can help slow down and mitigate climate change. Saño gives these examples.
1 Renewable energy technologies.
Renewable sources of energy are myriad: solar photovoltaic cells and thermal collectors, wind turbines, hydropower turbines. "More recently, there are promising indications that we can also harness power from the ocean," he says.
2 Energy-efficient technologies.
Perhaps you already have these in your households: LED lamps, fuel-efficient cars, low-wattage electrical appliances, and the use of information technology to make our lives better. "Another exciting frontier are the latest breed of electric cars and environment-friendly mass transit systems," adds Saño.
3 Power storage.
Among these are the many kinds of batteries that we use to power smaller electronic devices. Recently, two kinds of exciting battery technology were made commercially available: the Tesla Powerwall and the Aquion. Saño explains, "Storage is the holy grail of the energy quandary. These will revolutionize the way we produce and use energy because once these storage systems are at our fingertips, we can start to say goodbye to large-scale fossil fuel power systems. Imagine harnessing solar energy and being able to store it and use it as needed!"
"Aside from unplugging electrical appliances and switching off when not in use, we can use technologies that help us unplug," Saño says. Primary among these are solar-powered devices, so that we harness the power from our sun and avoid utilizing electricity produced by power stations. There are many of these available now: flashlights, power banks, radios, electric fans, cooking stoves, mobile phones, and solar water heater, to name a few.
Read more about Climate Change and other Environmental Issues:
Greenpeace Southeast Asia
Room 301 JGS Building, #30 Scout Tuason Street,
1103 Quezon City, The Philippines