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Technology and the Environment – A Framework for a Symbiotic Relationship

Blair, Garry and Pagano, rosane (2021) Technology and the Environment – A Framework for a Symbiotic Relationship. Journal of Advanced Research in Alternative Energy, Environment and Ecology., 8 (2). pp. 4-8. ISSN 2455-3093

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Abstract

Technology pervades every aspect of modern life and the recent pandemic has increased our reliance on and usage of technology to overcome the constraints of movement that have necessarily been imposed on populations. This has allowed society to proceed with business and social activity via the virtual world. Most of the major advances of society have been driven by technological advances to form new paradigms. These have, though, brought their own problems, with the creation of pollution, waste, depletion of natural resources, exploitation of the workforce and destruction of the natural world. This paper aims considers the requisite changes to use technology to sustain our environment, highlighting the attempts to reverse the destructive trends driven by technological advance. The required contingency framework for technology is discussed, in respect of its central aspects. The principal theme is that technology, in terms of the creation of tools for human usage, is neutral, however the focus of society in investing in technologies and the manner in which technologies are used is not neutral. The potential for political, social and economic agenda exists, underpinning decisions in these spheres, so human interest drives this technological change. This paper outlines the key themes generating the development of a symbiotic approach to the relationship between technology and the environment. The requisite change drivers for technology projects are considered, such as the ‘triple bottom line’ approach that encompasses society and the environment together with profit as factors in decision-making and the use of global virtual teams, to run and maintain such projects and their resultant products and services. The paper uses a review of a range of literature to consider these central themes to enable and encourage technological change that sustains the environment, in respect of the natural and social worlds. A framework is proposed in order to provide an initial consideration of the topic and as a vehicle for future research into this area.

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