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Home > Green News > Editorials

The Machine -- Blessings of Technology or...?

"The machine has got to be accepted, but it is probably better to accept it rather as one accepts a drug -- that is, grudgingly and suspiciously. Like a drug, the machine is useful, dangerous, and habit-forming. The oftener one surrenders to it the tighter its grip becomes."

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- George Orwell, novelist (1903-1950)

Interesting perspective that could apply to today's enthusiasm for technology to solve all our problems.

Several questions come to mind when I consider the productive role of machines and technology in today's challenges as diverse as climate change, pollution, obesity, war and student drop-out rates.

  • What is the real problem?

  • Is prevention more productive than fixing the problem?

  • How much is enough? Pleasure. Wealth. Social interaction. Fuel. Money... the list is endless.

Green tech offers solutions to doing business as usual. Sustainable solutions start at the baseline.

What is needed to support life for ALL species?

How do we fit into these self-sustaining systems for truly better quality of life for all concerned?

Looking at the oil spill in the Gulf, we have to ask ourselves if that oil platform, as a machine, really benefits our longterm survival. Does today's massively scaled petroleum industry providing more good than harm?

How much is nature's system of a marine ecosystem worth year after year after year? How will we restore it? Or can it restore itself?

This is a teachable moment.

Machines brought us here. We're addicted to easy energy. Do we need to reevaluate the bottom-line, quality-of-life, value of our personal use of gasoline, and plastic and VOC chemicals...and the other products that are produced from petroleum that is sucked from miles under a delicate natural ecosystem?

Is this machine something to be suspicious of?

Is it addicting us to something habit-forming, dangerous ... at the same time partially useful.

If you can have only one ... which will it be? Deep sea petroleum platforms? Or the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem?

How tight is the grip of petroleum on your life?

Senior Editor

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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