Markus Stocker bio photo

Markus Stocker

Between information technology and environmental science with a flair for economics, the clarinet, and the world of soups and salads.

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Generally, or mostly, a healthy body has an amazing capability of wound healing. Can technology (self-) heal?

Whether or not you believe in climate change or, more generally, the role humans play in environmental degradation, we probably agree, plastic is a product of technology and it is unlikely nature’s will to let turtles consume it.

It is probably reasonable to assume, the very existence of life is cause for environmental degradation and, hence, its own degradation. Are you inclined to believe, technology may boost our contribution? Perhaps. Do you think, massive-scale technological fixes may slow down or reverse degradation? Can technology heal its own wounds? The questions probably deserve a study. I hope the answers will not have to rely solely on an economic and scientific one.

According to the article,

The suite of mega-technological fixes includes everything from placing mirrors in space that reflect sunlight from the Earth, to fertilising the oceans with iron to encourage the growth of algae that can soak up atmospheric carbon dioxide. Another option is to seed clouds which bounce the sun’s rays back into space so they do not warm the Earth’s surface. (The Guardian)

I’m afraid, we might loose - if ever acquired - the healthy degree of fear, respect, awe, in front of nature’s complexity and our inability to grasp it; forget that we are not playing in our sandbox where wind and water will erase our failed engineering. Recently, hungry shrimp have shown once again how unforeseen factors may jeopardize what we believe to be solutions. Seeding the skies has been a research topic for awhile, typically for the purpose of weather control, from storms to rain. The results: inconclusive.

When oua body heals a wound, it solves the problem at its root by regenerating damaged tissue. Let’s not forget, our consumption patterns are the roots of our share of environmental degradation. I’m afraid, with massive-scale technological fixes we at best put a plaster on top of the wound.