tech and the world.docx

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School of Environment
Stephen Scharper

Technology and the Healing of the Earth  Of all the issues we are concerned with right now, most basic issue is human-earth relationships  Humans have: -contaminated air, water, soil. -damned rivers -cut down forests - destroyed animal habitats, and made animals extinct -caused land to be eroded - caused rain to be acid -trivialized nature in vacation areas - killed many habitats for fish by contaminating lakes  Earth has become devoured due to humans  Whereas the infrastructures of nature continually renew themselves from within, our infrastructures dissolve in the corrosive acids of the env. or break under the relentless strain imposed on them  Human miseries have been eliminated cuz of new sciences + technology  Natural world = violent cuz of withering drought, onrushing floods, + hurricanes  Since the rise of agriculture at the beginning of the Neolithic period, humans are putting stress on the natural world  Deforestation in china occurred 3000 yrs ago and hasn’t stopped since.  Part of erosion is due to human interventions  Julian Simon + Herman Kahn  we should press on even more with our industrial development, ^^ ppl argue with that saying the crisis is being exaggerated and that each generation has had a better life before theirs  After the WW2 came the expansion of I.B.M, Burlington Mills and the space and military industries along with the food industries, all exploitive and dependent on new technologies  The corporate “culture” the “mythic meaning” of the enterprise, the “soul” of the establishment, the “spirit” of the corporation, the “belief” structures – allof this is an effort to overcome an instinctive awareness that the corporation is in the business of seducing the consumer while plundering natural resources and poisoning the env. rd  World Bank major influence in the international economy and the industrialization of the 3 world.  Our entire society is caught in a closed cycle of production and consumption that can go on until the natural resources are exhausted or until the poisons inserted into the enc are bed back into the system we are so committed to this industrial cycle, so alienated from the needed knowledge or the competence to return to the ever-renewing cycle of the natural world that even when we begin to experience the impending peril, we feel that we must cling to these “established” or “traditional” ways, ways that have become as it were a kind of salvific process  A kind of industrial-technological “fundamentalism” become prevalent, a fundamentalism that has led to the Reagan political regime. this fundamentalism expresses itself especially in magnifying our military establishment in order to defend ourselves and our industrial mode of existence.  The military-fundamentalism establishment then generates an overwhelming support for the industrial-commercial cycle.  Advertising its presence has become so all-persuasive that ppl are surrounded with appeals to buy and consume, appeals to urgent and competitive they begin to take on hysterical dimensions.  John Naisbitt speaks of the sunrise industries and the new information society HUMANIST CRITIQUES OF TECHNOLOGY  Jacques Ellul in book called Technological Societyoutlines the invasion of the technocratic process into every phase of human life, the imposition of a techno sphere on the biosphere and even on the psycho sphere, with its progressive devitalisation and dehumanization  Labour movement in capital countries, socialist, communist and capitalism movements are all committed to the technological industrial process  Smokestacks work, money, housing, food, clothing, economic survival, edu for children  Acid rain, water contamination, paving over lands, toxic waste, dying of fish + birds – are distant marginal concerns INTERGRITY OF NATURE  3 way of dealing with human-nature relations is rep. by those who criticize our technological- industrial society cuz of its disturbance of the natural world in its most basic life systems.  Ultimate source of evil = commitment to human well being instead of natural world (choosing tech over earth)  Muir + Thoreaubelieved that human species was part of the larger community of life and that mutually enhancing bond was necessary for the true enrichment of the human  American continent, from post civil war times until the present has suffered a period of industrial ascendancy and the degradation of its basic life systems with minimal protest.  When the great transnationals arrived, the entire planet was inventoried, its resources exploited, its ecosystems upset, its primordial forests destroyed, its native economies disrupted  Biologists Anne + Paul Ehrlich we will likely extinguish more than 20% of all living species  Rain forests size of Connecticut are being destroyed each yr. HEALING OF THE EARTH  A group that is evolving the alternative programs needed for healing the earth and fostering more funational modes of f
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