Friday, March 03, 2006
Technology Fix. Bush In India
It's a concept that better technology can help us cope with world problems. President Bush subscribes to this concept, for the most part. Recently visiting India, a deal has been signed promoting nuclear power for this highly populated nation. It's either that or India's huge population continues to industrialize using up more oil, coal and creating greenhouse gas to the max.
To some extent, I believe in technology fix, but there are other questions to ask. Has anyone considered trying to reduce population growth? Has anyone considered what happens when the world runs out of uranium? What about even more idealistic technologies like hydrogen fusion (rather than nuclear fission)? How about wind and solar power?
These more idealistic fixes seem to have always been "20 years in the future." When I was in college, hydrogen fusion was 20 years off. Now, 30 years later, they are still talking about 20 years.
Also there is changing some basic human assumptions. Wanting a better life for one's kids can be costly.
On the other hand, who am I to say that people in poor parts of the world should not have aspirations?
Then there is the whole question of "what is the definition for a better life?"
One can say, "be careful what you ask for as you might get it." Here in USA, the Bellingham area has recently suffered several horrendous car accidents. Multi car pileups. Quite a few deaths, all with-in the past few weeks. In one case, high school kids from Blaine, WA.
Technology fix might be able to address these problems as well. Automobiles spaced and driven by computer; rather than human. Cars that are "auto piloted" while they are on the freeway? It's been discussed by visionaries. Discussed as a solution to traffic congestion.
Then one can ask, "why do people need to drive cars?" Isn't public transit a better way to go? How about things like tele-commuting?
Then there is just slowing down. The modern world keeps moving faster and faster.
While I like some forms of technology fix, the Internet for instance, people are often surprised when I tell them I have never driven a car.
Never driven a car! They exclaim.
Yes, I have never driven a car. Didn't even take driver's ed. in high school. It was just too scary for me. Too scary.
However I do enjoy the gentle pace of my bicycle.