Reading the news in 2020 can be an ordeal. While there is a lot that we need to know about the world to be able to engage and change things as informed citizens, so much of the information we absorb can just seem demoralising and can have the opposite effect, leaving us feeling paralysed.
In such a time , it is important to remember the good things happening in the world and, in particular, the ways that our technological knowledge is helping people change the world for the better. Read on for five of our favourite examples of how technology is helping to save the planet.
While many of the world’s coral reefs are in more danger than ever before, and suffering due to man-made products polluting the water, scientists in Florida have potentially found a way to replace the coral that the planet is set to lose over the next several decades. Scientists at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium have made breakthroughs by micro-fragmenting coral, cutting new growths into tiny fragments that then grow when hung on treelike structures in the right conditions. These new growths can be made to grow together and then fused onto older dying coral and revitalise the reef. This will have hugely positive effects for oxygen production in the coming decades.
The internet has become ever-more central to life during the Covid-19 pandemic, and companies are looking to adapt to a new order of doing business. One major change is the move away from landline phones and towards telecommunications, which can allow people to keep the infrastructure of their workplace but work from home when required.
The wide range of services available can also lead to a fragmented communication network, with different groups within a business communicating using different, mutually exclusive networks. Adopting a system such as Unified Communications by Gamma will allow everyone in your business to communicate over a single service that incorporates file sharing, voice, video and picture communication.
An environmentally focused search engine is planting thousands of trees
You may well have seen advertisements for Ecosia, the environmentally friendly search engine. This browser promises to use your ad revenue to plant trees where they are needed most in the world, through donating a minimum of 80% of its profits to non-profit organisations. It can be an easy change to make if you are looking for simple ways to make a difference, a little at a time.
Offshore wind investment is going strong
Despite the uncertainty unleashed on the world by Covid-19, the offshore wind sector has had its strongest ever quarter, with 34.9 billion pounds of investment in the first half of 2020. As turbines have become more efficient, wind power has shaped up to become one of the most profitable parts of an energy sector facing many uncertainties elsewhere.
Power from underground trains
In several parts of the world, including London, testing is being done to harness the huge amount of kinetic energy released by subway trains pulling into stations, to help power the local area. This could be huge for the future of cities, as a virtuous cycle of public transport and the energy recaptured make the world a cleaner, healthier place.