Can technology solve our environmental problems?

Technology cannot solve a problem without creating another. No Hydroelectric power generation requires the building a large dam across water bodies, often flooding huge areas surrounding rivers and drowning the habitat, killing endemic species. Experts claim that The Three Gorges Dam in Hubei, China, contributed to the extinction of the Yangtze River dolphins in China.


However, in the grand scheme of things, some trade-offs are inevitable in our effort to protect the environment. Rebuttal:

Grand Scheme of Things

The Three Gorges Dam remains the power station that generates the largest power output in the world. Since it requires no fossil fuel, it effectively prevents the release of millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year.


Technology alone fails to address environmental problems because the underlying problem is the lack of political will. No Various clean technologies already exist to mitigate our environmental problems but many countries are slow to adopt radical environmental policies or deploy renewable energy technologies because taking unilateral action on climate change might harm their competitiveness. Introducing carbon reduction policies only in some countries could lead companies to relocate to other countries that do not apply strong climate policies – hence the use of the term, “carbon leakage”.


No When the Obama Administration attempted to push through environmental legislations, it faced strong opposition from the Congress. Some Republicans even believed that climate change was not real.


However, the trend is reversing in recent years as more countries have taken a more proactive role in safeguarding our planet. Rebuttal:

Trend is reversing

In 2016, all governments (with the exception of Syria, Nicaragua and the United States) ratified the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to keep global temperature below 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.


Technology cannot solve our environmental problems because it is prohibitively expensive to adopt more eco-friendly technologies. Only developed countries and the rich can afford it. No Electric and hybrid vehicles such as TESLA and Toyota Prius Hybrid are more expensive than their conventional counterparts and require more funds to maintain due to their limited battery lifespan.


While this is true in the short term, with the passing of time and increased adoption, such technologies will become cheaper and eventually accessible to developing countries. Yes:

Short-term vs long-term

Swanson’s law encapsulates the observation that costs of producing solar photovoltaic cells have declined gradually over the years because production has increased.


Technology has been a bane to the environment because most of the environmental problems we have today can be traced back to developments in technology. Tech is the problem Ever since the development of internal combustion, the number of vehicles spewing pollutants have increased incessantly. In addition, Michael Faraday’s discovery of how to generate and harvest the power of electricity has eventually led to the proliferation of power plants that emit large amounts of carbon into our atmosphere.


However, such assessments are unfair as the intended purpose of technology is solving many of humanity’s problems, not degrading the environment. Rebuttal: Purpose Cars are meant to transport goods and passengers more efficiently. Electricity is an integral part of human progress, and has proven itself to enable us to do more and to alleviate poverty.


Environmental degradation is a complex issue that no one single technology can solve. Nonetheless, the combined use of various technologies holds great promise to solve the many problems associated with the environment. Yes Air-conditioners are increasingly equipped with advanced inverter technology that improves their energy efficiency and reduces our carbon footprint without sacrificing comfort.


The use genetic engineering can enable plants such as the American Chestnut trees to remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


The use of membrane technology can help filter and clean up effluent from factories to minimise pollution of rivers and lakes.



You can watch a video about the environmental impact of the Three Gorges Dam at the Yangtze River