How alternative technologies could help save the planet

We seem addicted to technologies that offer the highest return on investment capital. But these technologies are also destroying our environment

Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

The amount of real leisure time a society enjoys tends to be in inverse proportion to the amount of labour-saving machinery it employs

Because the profound thing about technology is that it has not learnt to self-limit like nature. It knows no limits to growth.

Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash


Small-scale technologies give nature a chance to compete with human activity as well as create a diversity of product. This means more economic stability and small-scale trading opportunities.

Decentralized technologies

These tend to be fit-for-purpose rather than generic. For example, it makes sense to aim for the generation and storage of local wind and solar electricity because, for one thing, it saves the additional cost burden of massive pole and wire infrastructure.

Labour intensive

Technologies that save labour are an almost an article of faith in the west. They shouldn’t be. Choosing structural unemployment as an alternative to creating jobs is absurd.

Energy-efficient technology

This hardly needs explanation. Relying on finite energy reserves to feed and clothe the world is setting humanity up for disaster — sooner rather than later according to current data.

Environmentally sound technology

That technology should be environmentally responsible is another no-brainer. Without a clean and healthy environment we no longer have life — our own included. We can never conquer nature with technology, so lets get smart and stop trying.

Locally autonomous technology

Technology works best for people when controlled by communities. By definition it then becomes ‘human-scale’ technology that can be manufactured and repaired locally.

Author, journalist and mentor. I call myself a deep green conservative.

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