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A Critique of Techno-Optimism: Efficiency without Sufficiency is Lost

Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, January 2014


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Resource information:
Resource IDalexander2014
Resource titleA Critique of Techno-Optimism: Efficiency without Sufficiency is Lost
Author(s)Samuel Alexander
Publication/ sourceMelbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne
Date publishedJanuary 2014
Summary text/ abstractScience and technology have continued to play a central role in the development of civilisation. Through their advancement human beings have been able to produce electricity, cure diseases, spilt the atom, travel into space, invent computers and the internet, and map the human genome, among an unending list of other things that often seem like miracles. Notably, these scientific and technological advancements have also assisted in the unprecedented expansion of our productive capacities, primarily through harnessing the energy in fossil fuels and developing machines to augment human labour. This has allowed many people, primarily in the developed nations, to achieve lifestyles of material comfort that would have been unimaginable even a few generations ago. But however awesome the advancement of science and technology has been as a means of raising material living standards, there are also well-known social and environmental dark sides that flow from this mode of development. Economic activity depends on nature for resources, and as economies and populations have expanded, especially since the industrial revolution, more pressure has been placed on those natural resources, ecosystems, and waste sinks. Today, we face a series of overlapping crises owing to the heavy burden our economies are placing on the planet.
Library categoriesAnarchism & Action, Climate Change, Economics, Neo-Luddism, Simplicity, Technology
Added to Free Range Library22/06/2014
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