Society, Global Indicators and Technological Change

Essay by G. F.College, UndergraduateA+, November 1996

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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.