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Changing world

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Changing world

The world is changing rapidly. A single technological development can lead to an infinite number of consequential developments each of which having varying impacts on humanity. These impacts, or indicators, display the results of technological development. Climactic, global economic, social, and energy related indicators are important in showing humanity's use of technoscience, and demonstrate that certain political and economic changes are needed so that technoscientists can use their knowledge to benefit the great majority of humanity. Climactic indicators are excellent examples of humanity's misuse of technoscience. One such indicator is global temperature. It displays the results of the burning of fossil fuels and the release of nitrous oxides into the atmosphere. Production of coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power each expanded by 1 percent in 1995 (Brown, 16). Globally, the ten warmest years out of the last 130 have all occurred in the eighties and nineties (Brown, 15). These figures demonstrate that humanity is not effectively controlling and limiting its use of fossil fuels. As a result, acid rain falls upon the earth destroying what is left of the planet's forests and, an estimated 37 percent of the fish species that inhabit thelakes and streams of North America are either in jeopardy or extinct. A second indicator that displays humanity's misuse of technoscience is the global economy. Global economic statistics show the results of the applications of technoscience. In 1995, the global economy grew by an estimated 3.7 percent the largest gain since the 4.6 percent growth in 1980 (Brown, 74). The use of technoscientific developments in various fields raised the global output of goods and services. Although this was an impressive expansion promoting employment and development, it also increased the unsustainable demands on the earth's natural systems and resources, such as the planet's forests. Applications of technoscience have established the need for wood. The forests that once blanketed more than 40 percent of the earth's land surface now cover only 27 percent of it (Brown, 19). As a result, soil erodes, and the capacity of soils and vegetation to absorb and store water is reduced. Humanity's misuse of technoscience can also be displayed with social indicators. Eightyseven million people were added to the population in 1995 (Sachs, 88). The overwhelming majority were added to countries that were already struggling with the results of technoscience: depletion of forestry, erosion of soil, and reduction of aquifers. This added population only increased these countries' problems. Population growth is slowing in some country's, but for the wrong reasons. In Russia, the combination of economic deterioration and environmental pollution has raised death rates, while a loss of hope in the future has lowered birth rates (Brown, 19). In Zimbabwe, births still exceed deaths, but by much less than a few years ago because AIDS related deaths are increasing. Beneficial applications of technoscience could be used in the above cases to improve social situation by introducing greater population control methods and by helping to control the AIDS epidemic. Energy related indicators shoe the positive effects of technoscientific application. While the production of coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power each expanded by 1 percent in 1995, wind electric generation expanded by 33 percent and sales of solar cells climbed 17 percent (Brown, 5658). The harnessing of wind ...

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