Abhiram Lohit

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Can we maintain cultural sophistication while cutting back on technological advancement? (Pls read the explanation below)

We are surrounded by reports of ill-effects of our industrial activities on natural balance, climate, etc. We hear about sustainable manufacturing, eco-friendly waste management, search for alternative sources of energy, etc.

Couldn't we just STOP doing these activities that cause these problems, rather than look for other ways of continuing to do them? Or at least keep the rates of activity steady and not ramp them up year after year. I wonder what would happen if businesses ran slower, people got paid lower, there are fewer cloying comforts to pamper us. There would be less industrial production, less toxic fumes, less sewage flowing into water bodies, and so on. In medicine, we could keep working on certain life-saving technologies, but I don't see the point of extending lives when people are inventing stupider and stupider pastimes to alleviate boredom.

Are we, as a race, a bunch of undisciplined, spoiled brats wreaking havoc on this planet when all the other species apparently "behave themselves"?

Is all this discovery and invention and innovation another way to alleviate boredom? Don't get me wrong, I'm not a depressed, life-negating pessimist. I'm just begging for some sincere soul-searching. On the one hand we have all these activities, and on the other hand we have admonitions that these activities are ruining our habitat. Why couldn't we be stringent with ourselves and curtail on one or the other. If we are determined to keep hurtling down the road of increased advancement, let's stop worrying about the Earth. The Earth can take care of itself after we're gone as a species. If we have the desire to continue to propagate as a healthy species, let's conserve the essentials.

We are trying to make the underdeveloped nations become as polluting as the developed nations - this is progress. Our educational, economic, political, social systems are all gravitating to that.

Please be as candid and critical as you need to be. Maybe I have this completely wrong

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    Jun 20 2011: no. we are not going to stop industrial activity. rather, we are enhancing our technology further, in order to keep what we want, and get rid only of the harms.
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      Jun 23 2011: Well then there would be some point in the future where natural resources will become so unusable that the planet cannot sustain our "need-heavy" civilization, and it will revert back to smaller and "need-light" forms of life.

      Because all we have is finite, not infinite. The green technology that we are embarking on, needs something that is not "green", for example for solar energy we still need the silicon, the plastic, the metal etc for the infrastructure. The manufacture of those products will inevitably be "non-green".