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Climate rebellion

Has technology a pivotal role to play when it comes to addressing environmental and conservational issues?

Last week London was a platform for the international “climate rebellion” organised by Extinction Rebellion which, according to its organisers, saw demonstrations in over 30 countries.

Thousands of people have taken part in these protests, blockading landmarks, as part of a campaign to force governments to take action to address what many believe to be an escalating climate crisis.

For many, technology has been responsible for a significant number of the problems we are now facing, so how can technology be used to address and solve those same problems? What role can technology have in conserving the Earth’s natural resources whether that’s our oceans or natural habit?

Data on the environment, and our effect on it, is vital and one technology that could play an important role are drones which, according to Robert Garbett, Founder and Chief Executive of Drone Major Group, could be used to combat the problem of deforestation.

“Forests have a huge impact on climate change,” according to Garbett, “and it’s a global problem with one quarter of harmful carbon emissions in the world’s atmosphere coming directly from the forestry, agriculture and land-use industries.”

Drone technology equipped with remote sensors, such as infrared and LiDAR, and AI software could be used to analyse and compile data profiles on large forested areas from above and below.

In the latest issue of New Electronics, we interview the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) which is exploring the adoption of powerful new technologies to improve the sustainability, efficiency and profitability in the fishing sector.

Fred Krupp, the president of the EDF, describes this as part of a broader revolution in environmental progress that is being driven by innovation and technology that will give people the power to take action.

“Technology has the power to transform how we solve environmental problems,” he argues.

Looking beyond the hyperbole, technology will be crucial as to how we obtain data and will encourage greater accessibility and transparency. Provide that and we will be more effective at getting people to act and find better solutions to the environmental challenges confronting all of us.

In turn, developments in artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud computing and the Internet of Things need to be tied more closely to the climate challenge.

Technology alone will not solve the climate crisis, to do that we need much greater climate leadership and much stronger policies. But technology can play a necessary and crucial part in finding solutions.

Neil Tyler

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