If we want to look at the real issue with the planet it is ultimately humans. We have effectively terraformed the planet over the last couple of hundred years. The problem may lie in humans over complicate many things. Solutions are often simple. Abating CO2 emissions could be partially achieved by planting more trees. Plastic could be better recycled, people could use less plastic, or we could make more biodegradable “plastic”. People could eat more sustainably. We could live without most of the garbage we manufacture. Years ago companies built products to last, now we have become a throw away society. A case in point are cameras. With analog cameras they lasted decades – even now cameras that were built in the 1930s still work. The downside of analog photography is of course the chemicals use to develop photographs. How many digital cameras do we all have? I probably have 10-12 sitting around, the majority obsolete technology. Batteries run their course and wear out, or the number of shutter activations is maxed out. Or the technology just becomes dated, due to lack of megapixels.
We may now at a nexus – how much more can technology improve? It already pervades too much of our lives, and I would argue that improvements in many technologies have reached a plateau. There is a reason vinyl records have made a comeback, and even analog cameras (which is why their resale prices keep rising!). I won’t go into the vagrancies of AI, but that too offers much and will likely provide little. Analog cameras have reappeared because they provide photographs with character that digital lacks (partially this is because the younger generation have grown up using vintage filters in apps like Instagram). The next evolution might be the creation of a digital film medium for analog cameras – a reusable film so to speak, to combine the aesthetics of film with the ease of digital processing (like this product).
Everything that is old is new again. Or maybe everything that is new is not necessarily better. This was the case with e-readers which were suppose to replace paper books… but that didn’t happen. The truth is we don’t need so much technology. Even the iPhone 8 I got last week… almost the same as the iPhone 6 it replaced. iPhone X… what more would it do for me? Except for the convenience of having a camera, and notepad where ever I go, and being able to Google things… it doesn’t do much for me. We need to cut back on technology and take a closer look at the way we use to live more… maybe get a better understanding of nature, because at the end of the day, you can’t eat technology.