Today we’ll discuss another promising area of technology that might be crucial for the emerging new industry known as the 4th industrial revolution or 4IR. And that is sustainable technology for the future.
It goes by many names. Clean Tech, Sustainable tech, Green tech et cetera. The objective, however, has always been pretty much the same. Inflicting less damage to mother earth and providing a better capacity to go along with nature. The industrial revolutions prior to us did not concern themselves with sustainability much, to be very honest. It was all about making human lives more comfortable. How they achieve it, is not a big concern.
However, it’s becoming increasingly clear that just looking for convenience and comfort ain’t going to cut it. Every action has a toll that has to be paid, and as it turns out, for the last century nature has been filling in for us on that toll. We’ve damaged the ozone layer, made forests turn into ashes, made fresh air unbreathable, turned polar ice caps into seawater, and so on, all in the name of industrial and technological revolution. And as of today, the earth and its plentiful greenery weeps towards these actions.
The damage towards nature has already started to backfire upon us, by global warming, sea-level rise, famine, and diseases, and it is very much time to look for a cleaner, better, environment-friendly way to achieve technological advancement, maybe even reverse some of the damage we’ve already caused. That brings us to sustainable tech.
What is Sustainable Technology
To start off, it is an umbrella term. That means a lot of ideas, concepts, and things fall under its category. The main idea refers to anything, like a product, process, or service that provides a positive or pro-neutral impact on the environment. It can also mean technology that reduces or reverses the negative impact on the environment. By this level of overall comprehension, we can extend this discussion with two different classes.
Progressive or Pro-neutral Tech
Ideas and technological advancements regarding
- Renewable energy sources such as harnessing the power of tides, the sun, water, wind, or gravity
- Self-sufficient structures and constructions
- Technology-aided agriculture and gardening
- Cutting down on making pollutants and finding alternatives
- Sustainable transportation
- Next-generation nuclear power
These fall under the side of green technology that is trying to co-exist with nature.
Anti-regressive or Damage-reversing Tech
This side of the clean technology coin aims toward patching the damage that has already been done. Such as :
- Waste management and treatment such as
- Waste to energy
- Using nanotechnology on water treatment to clean up bodies of polluted water
- Using biotechnology for water treatment like bacteria to clean up oil spills
- Building efficient waste management systems
- Decreasing and repurposing waste such as the depicted figure.
- Smart monitoring of the environmental pollutants and analytics to provide betterment
- Biotechnology for preserving nature, wildlife, and the good elements of the environment