Technology will play a significant role in taming the climate crisis
In 1880, there were an estimated 150,000 horses living and working within New York City. They pulled street cars, transported an increasing amount of goods, and became a frequent site on the city streets.
The also pooped. A lot. The average horse pooped 22 pounds in a day. For those keeping track at home, the 150,000-strong New York City horse population dropped a rough 3.3 million pounds of manure across the city streets each and every day.
It was predicted that by the 1930s the manure in the streets would reach the third story of the city’s buildings. That prediction never occurred, however, and that is largely because of the advent of the combustible engine.
Urban odors slowly dissipated as horse drawn transportation gave way to the automobile. An environmental crisis of a different order was averted.
The story is a great precursor to our current climate change situation. The ways that technology can influence climate change are only limited by creativity. Technology is already having an impact on other environmental issues.
A $1.4 million prize incentivized the development of new technology to cleanup the BP oil spill in 2008. Desalination plants are making the world’s largest bodies of water drinkable.
So what is being done to lessen the impacts of climate change currently? There’s work being done on quite a few fronts, actually.
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