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Lecture 7

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SOCI 1002
Christian Carron

Lecture 7 Environment and Technology Environmental movementa very diverse social movement concerned with a whole plethora of environmental issues Key focus is sustainability of the planets resources is our current path that we are on sustainable Are we using to many resources With the rise of technology there is an associated growing stress to the environmentthis is what we will examine today See textbook reading A Planet Under Stress Paradox of Technology Technology plays a paradoxical role in Society Technology bring a vast richness of possibilities and progress to our lived and yet simultaneouslyhave various negative impacts Technology is both seen as the future and in some instances as our savior and yet technology is also the cause of some of the biggest dangers and make the future risky An example is the destruction of the ecological and climatic equilibrium of the planet The natural resources of the earth and depleted in the pursuit of profit but there is nothing inherent in such pursuit that operates as a check upon such behaviour Industrial organizations and businesses which bring us many pieces of technology are the biggest polluters of the air and water TechnologyOverall North Americans value science and technology highlyBut also is awareness that technological advance not always beneficial and not even always benignTerm normal accident introduced by Perrow in 1980s and refers to accidents that occur inevitablythough unpredictablybecause ofvery complexity of modern technologiesTechnology and Risk Society Beck coined term risk societyA postmodern society defined by way in which risk is distributed as a side effect of technologyTechnology distributes danger among all categories of population with some categories more exposed to technological dangers than othersDanger not just from technology but frommounting environmental threats as well RiskRisks are outcomes and sideeffects are difficult impossible to calculate and defineGenetically modified food for example the debate revolves around uncertainty in terms of not knowing the price that will be paid in the future for current decisionsGlobalization and RiskGlobalization is taken to be a process which no one controlsThis is often invoked as a reason for inaction in the face of what are seen as overwhelming and abstract forces
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