In technology we trust

Paul van Gerven
Reading time: 3 minutes

It’s time for humanity to face up to the fact that technology alone won’t be enough to tackle climate change.

Technology as a panacea – it comes naturally to scientists and engineers. It solved so many problems before, why wouldn’t it fix the next one too? Is the accumulation of CO2 threatening to disrupt the world’s ecosystems? We’ll install windmills and solar panels. We’ll drive electric cars, fly in electric planes. Are our economies draining Earth’s natural resources? No problem, we’ll get serious about design for reuse and create circular economies.

For a long time, I trusted in technological progress to solve climate change (and other ecological threats) as well. When I was a teenager, and later a university student, I was convinced humanity was moving towards a Star Trek-like world, where energy is abundant, food is created from thin air and the weather is always great thanks to a globe-spanning control grid. Having eradicated disease, pollution, hunger, poverty and even money, humanity adopted a philosophy of self-betterment and turned its gaze toward the stars.

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