Paul van Gerven is an editor at Bits&Chips.

Leestijd: 3 minuten

I concluded my opening editorial two Bits&Chips issues ago with an encouragement for public authorities to (among other things) start throwing money at green technology. I must have been in a bit of a philosophical mood the day I found the paper magazine with said article on my desk, because when I re-read my own work (yes, I am that vain), it occurred to me that it’s kind of funny that to solve the global warming crisis, we’re actually betting on the very thing that set it in motion in the first place.

The constantly expanding nature of technology renders this line of reasoning flawed, obviously, but it does expose a human instinct in modern times: that technology will come to the rescue. It’s not hard to see how such a belief has come to be. Looking back at how science and technology have transformed society and the world over the centuries, there’s something inevitable and unstoppable about them. Technological progress is a given so ingrained that it’s never challenged. So why would it fail us now, battling climate change?

Ironically, however, so far our faith in technological progress has only worked to make matters worse. As long as global warming has been on the agenda, political leaders have simply been putting off taking action, believing technology will pick up the slack eventually. Two decades of reports, summits and agreements have failed to produce results, while the problem grew ever larger. As climate researchers recently outlined in Nature, the result of this dillydallying in the past decade is that the world now must do four times the work, or do the same amount in one third of the time.

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