Tech Still Isn’t Doing Enough to Care for the Environment


We are in a local weather disaster, and know-how might be both part of the issue or a power for good, says Greenpeace CTO Priscilla Chomba-Kinywa. According to the International Panel on Climate Change, she explains, we have now “less than seven years before Earth becomes really difficult to live on.” Last 12 months alone, the world witnessed wildfires in North America, floods in Southern Africa, and even the double tragedy of floods and fires in locations like Greece, she says.

Social media permits folks from internationally to speak, however “we’re seeing misinformation, disinformation, and a wanton disregard for sustainability by some of these platforms—and unfortunately, people don’t have many other options.”

Chomba-Kinywa says that VCs, startups, buyers, and technologists ought to put money into different platforms “that are green, that are ethical, that are value-based, and that give us an alternative to what we have right now, being built by people so passionate about the environment that they will not sell out in the name of profits.”

Even although standard funding is meant to maximise shareholder worth, she argues, investing in these platforms is a worth value paying, as prospects will quickly be demanding motion.

Chomba-Kinywa salutes corporations already taking motion—equivalent to Hyundai, which lately dedicated to cease supplying the heavy equipment used for unlawful mining within the Amazon. This was potential, she says, by the usage of satellite tv for pc imagery and strain from leaders in Indigenous communities, which led to a report that Hyundai couldn’t ignore.

Good information, she explains, is important—Greenpeace has been utilizing it since 2009 to steer some tech giants to modify to one hundred pc renewable vitality. For people who refused, the campaigning NGO simply walked away. Other organizations ought to do the identical, she says.

“What if you could use your influence to apply pressure on these organizations to change?” she asks. “Say, ‘We’ve looked at the data, we’ve looked at your plans. You’re not doing enough, and we won’t give you our money.’ Then maybe we can make a little bit more of a change.”

Finally, she says companies have to work with communities from locations like Senegal, Zambia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Mexico to grasp and assist their actions. “Sit with the elders in their communities, listen to the Indigenous knowledge that allowed them to coexist with nature, and start to reapply some of those principles,” she suggests. “They are scrambling for their lives.”

Chomba-Kinywa additionally says that conversations on AI have to deal with the planet. “We’re talking about values, ethics, and putting guardrails in place—but we can’t do that without talking about the environment,” she argues. “We need to think through the environmental cost of AI. It has the potential to help us solve some of humanity’s grand challenges, but that’s only useful if humanity has a livable planet.”

This article seems within the March/April 2024 situation of WIRED UK journal.


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