In a change from the usual run of nanotech and investing conferences, I’ll be at the “Ideas For A Greener Living” exhibition at Olympia (London) on 18th April. I’m taking part in a debate with ‘eco expert’ Penney Poyzer, organised by the 21st Century Technology Network. At the core of this is whether we should rely on technology to try to solve our problems – the counter argument is of course that that technology has caused a few problems too.
I’m interested to hear the opposing view. Is it that we should live in a simpler way, as do the beasts in the fields, or perhaps as rural villagers in India, or do we just live in cities and recycle our rubbish and save bits of old soap?
The great conundrum my my point of view is whether sitting around a dung fire in a hut is any more environmentally neutral than using renewable energy – which of course requires technology for its production and distribution. Is it possible to reject some parts of technology but choose to make use of others when it suits you – such as being rushed to a modern hospital in an ambulance rather than being treated by a grizzled old hippie with a bag of herbs and some Tibetan beads?
I have no idea, but it will be interesting to find out the opposing view and see if there are some solutions that we can all agree on.