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By John G. Webster (Editor)
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Additional resources for 60.Technology and Society
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF TECHNOLOGY 15 Agricultural production suffers from crop pests and diseases. Adverse impacts are caused directly, such as by insect defoliation or by competition for space, light, and nutrients by weed species, or indirectly, by vector organisms carrying crop diseases. The use of pesticides has helped to reduce crop losses. However, adverse environmental effects, such as pest resistance and food-chain accumulation, have forced us to phase out several of the more toxic and persistent chemicals.
If the environmental impacts rose in step with these projected developments, the result would be detrimental to environment and humans. Nevertheless, the intensity of damage can be reduced through existing technologies and approaches that make more efficient, sustainable use of resources, such as energy conservation, recycling, and more efficient and cleaner industry. Assessing and Controlling of the Effect of Technology. As indicated earlier, technology affects the environment through human behavior.
The mass production techniques, together with scientific management styles, resulted in an increase in productivity and efficiency by means of economies of scale, and the emergence of multinationals operating on the global level. Railways have been replaced by roads and the internal combustion engine vehicles; air transportation and communication networks (radio, telephone, TV, Internet) have overcome physical distance and enhanced cultural and information exchange. All these have led to changes in social values, new technologies, and new ways of organizing production, thus shifting occupational profiles and encouraging global competition.