Rapid Technological Growth and Environmental Degradation

Rapid technical advancements have been shown to aid nations in emerging from their current economic predicament. New technical developments could open the door for structural change with opportunities from new markets if they have the necessary competencies. By taking advantage of global involvement, developing nations may use the cost-reduction capabilities of frontier technologies to transition from low-wage to higher-wage enterprises.

However, major efforts to create an enabling environment and enhance endogenous capacities are necessary for nations with lower technical skills to leapfrog in the long run. As atmospheric pollutants, carbon dioxide, monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrous oxide, & methane are included. After the industrial revolution, fossil fuels, industries, power plants, industrial agriculture, and vehicles dominated. Humans and other animals are harmed by air pollution, which also contributes to global warming.

Rapid Technological Growth and Environmental Degradation

While there are still disparities in the adoption of new technologies throughout the world, particularly in the least developed nations, recent decades have witnessed a radically accelerated speed in their creation and uptake. This fast technological transformation impacts almost every aspect of business, society, and culture. Technologies like big data, the Internet of Things, machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, biotechnology, nanotechnology, renewable energy technologies, and satellite and drone technologies are a few examples of technologies undergoing rapid technological development.

These provide the tremendous potential to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda. Rapid technological advancement also presents new difficulties for policymaking. Because new technologies have the potential to alter labor markets, sustain disparities, and raise ethical issues, they may be more disruptive than governments and society can handle.

Loss of Biodiversity

The gadgets we carry around us often may be the first thought that comes to mind when considering technology. The widespread availability of portable electronic devices like cell phones, tablets, and laptops has improved our quality of life. While it is undeniable that our modern conveniences have made life easier, they have also had an impact on the planet. These and other contemporary technological gadgets raise concerns about resource consumption, energy use, carbon impact, and waste. The environmental impact of our modern wonders becomes clear when we consider the full scope of their use.

Technology changing our Lives and driving us Further into Disaster

The word "technology" describes the practical application of scientific knowledge and the resulting tools and gadgets. During this time of fast change, technological advances are revolutionizing our way of life and plunging us deeper into the abyss of calamity brought on by climate change and a lack of resources. In contrast, water pollution pollutes water sources, including lakes, rivers, seas, and groundwater, most often due to human activities. Household garbage, chemical runoff from factories, and herbicides and insecticides are all major contributors to water pollution.

Specifically, the deterioration of aquatic ecosystems may be caused by the discharge of untreated sewage into natural water bodies. Diseases like typhoid and cholera, eutrophication, and the loss of ecosystems that hurt the food chain are further undesirable results.

Digging Down for Metals and Stones

Our electronic gadgets and other forms of contemporary technology need many natural resources and precious metals. Deforestation, landscape deterioration, water pollution, and massive amounts of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions are all caused by the mining industry. Massive equipment, often run by fossil fuels, is typically used, and the associated processes frequently use large quantities of water and cause significant pollution. Of all the greenhouse gases we release into the atmosphere, carbon dioxide has the greatest effect on global warming.

The Mineral Intensity of Technology

Plastic is the second most popular material after silicon. Carbon-based hydrocarbons are the starting point for the production of plastic. High-emission production methods are needed, which causes several environmental problems. Other crucial components include iron, aluminum, copper, lead, zinc, tin, nickel, and barium.

Significant Energy Consumption and Carbon Footprint

Raw material sourcing is just one aspect of technology's environmental effect. To transform them into the sophisticated electrical and technical goods we rely on, and manufacturers need to expend enormous amounts of power. The global shipping of these goods also adds to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

E-Waste (Electronic Waste)

Only a tiny fraction of obsolete electronics are recycled, and most are disposed of in landfills or incinerated. The poorest and most defenseless people on the earth often live near these unsightly wastes. This threatens human health and has a wide variety of severe effects on the natural world.

  • The buck stops with technology companies regarding the environmental damage caused by technological advancements.

  • The goal of a circular economy is to promote renewal and repair. In this kind of economy, people are more concerned with recycling and reusing items. However, a circular economy is impossible so long as technology corporations emphasize individual consumption.

  • Whether or whether electrical devices can be made to endure

  • A smartphone designed to serve its owner for four to six years is swiftly rendered useless. Newer, better options appear annually. Some businesses may intentionally impede the functionality of older devices or restrict access to repair services to push consumers to buy new ones.

  • These digital giants encourage "hyper-consumerism" with their relentless product updates and intrusive advertising. Because of these problems, customers may be less likely to keep their gadgets for as long as possible, which is the most effective way to lessen their environmental impact.

Actions Taken by Consumers to Lessen Their Impact

Self-regulation by the IT industry and government law are both crucial. There will be less of an environmental effect from technology as a result. Rising environmental concerns, however, call for action on the part of consumers like us. To a certain extent, we can do nothing to change some circumstances. However, we can assist mitigate the risks posed by the technology we rely on by −

  • Keeping on as long as we can with the tools we have.

  • Favoring the purchase of used or refurbished goods over brand-new ones.

  • We aim to minimize any detrimental environmental effects from the new products we purchase. Looking for solutions that are sustainable, eco-friendly, and ethical.

  • Repurposing used electronics creatively at home or donating them to nonprofits keeps them out of landfills.

  • Ingenious may be found in even the most outdated smartphone. Many common functions may be performed using the preinstalled software on these gadgets. A discarded smartphone, for instance, might serve as a−

Use Responsible Technology Recycling Practices

Place it in a recycling center's "small electrical" container by delivering them to electronic waste recyclers and returning them to the producers. The mobile phone industry has ratified the Convention and committed to creating environmentally friendly methods for recycling old phones. Seminars on digital waste management are available online. We may also contribute by voting on environmentalists. Encourage governments and major technology companies to treat electronic waste and the planet responsibly. Everybody should speak out.


We can considerably mitigate the environmental damage that technology causes. It is easy to forget how much sway we, as consumers, have in promoting environmental sustainability. After all, the only way for items to continue being manufactured is if consumers want them. We can bring about a more peaceful and sustainable future by cutting ties with corporations that refuse to improve conditions.

Updated on: 12-Apr-2023


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