GP Science and Tech Essay: Can technology solve our environmental problems?

Ah, don’t we love GP Science and Tech Essay questions that also test other areas of study? Here’s one that combines both Science and Technology, as well as Environment.

Technology is rapidly evolving and we are constantly finding new ways to adapt it for the world’s problems, including environmental issues! The human ingenuity has allowed us to tackle environmental degradation and natural disasters with technology.

Let’s dive into this special Science and Tech + Environment essay question with a Cheat Sheet that the First Class GP Team has crafted specially for you!

GP Science and Tech Essay Cheat Sheet: Can technology solve our environmental problems?

We can start off by arguing that no, technology cannot solve our environmental problems.

Point 1: Technology cannot solve a problem without creating another.

  • 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.

Point 2: Technology alone fails to address environmental problems because the underlying problem is the lack of political will.

  • 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”.

Point 3 (Note this very special and insightful point!) : Technology is the problem rather than the solution. 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.

  • 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.

To give our essay a bit more ‘oomph”, let’s evaluate our points. Examiners will be looking out for your valuable evaluation!

Rebuttal to Point 1: In the grand scheme of things, some trade-offs are inevitable in our effort to protect the environment.

  • 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.

Rebuttal to Point 2: The trend is reversing in recent years as more countries have taken a more proactive role in safeguarding our planet.

  • In 2017, 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.

Next, we can argue that technology can indeed solve our environmental problems.

Point 1: 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.

  • Air-conditioners are increasingly equipped with advanced inverter technology that improves their energy efficiency and reduces our carbon footprint without sacrificing comfort.

Same as earlier, we can and should evaluate the point as well.

Rebuttal to Point 1: Such assessments are unfair as the intended purpose of technology is solving many of humanity’s problems, not degrading the environment.

  • 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.

We hope that you have found this GP Science and Tech Essay Cheat Sheet useful and enlightening. There are many insightful and unique points that our team has painstakingly brainstormed so that you don’t have to!

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