You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Developments in technology have brought various environmental problems. Some believe that people need to live simpler lives to solve environmental problems. Others, however, believe technology is the way to solve these problems. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
It is true that certain advances in technology have had negative impacts on the environment. While there are strong arguments that some environmental problems should be tackled by adopting simpler lifestyles, I believe that the solutions lie in technologies that have been and are being developed.
On the one hand, enjoying life with less sophisticated technology means that people inflict less damage on the ecosystems on which all living things depend. Firstly, people consume energy through overuse of devices such as air-conditioning, water heaters and the private car. If they decrease their energy consumption, this will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, but this will certainly involve leading simpler lives. Secondly, organic farmers do not pollute the water or the soil which results from the application of chemical fertilisers and weedkillers. They encourage a diversity of plants and wildlife on their farms.
On the other hand, I agree with those
who argue that technological achievements play a pivotal role in environmental protection. One reason is that the use of renewable energy sources is already starting to grow. This raises the prospect of decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, cleaner air and the reversal of the trend of global warming. Countries such as Japan are leading the way, for example, in developing more eco-friendly cars, buses and lorries. Another reason is that cleaner technologies, such as waste treatment, are being introduced into many industries, and technology is enabling plastics and other products to be recycled.
In conclusion, although living simpler lives can certainly help in tackling environmental problems, it seems to me that advances in technology are already providing many solutions and this trend will gather pace in the future.
sophisticated technology: technology that is clever and complicated in the way that it functions.
inflict damage on: make something, such as the environment, suffer something harmful.
ecosystems: all the plants and animals living in various areas, considered in relation to their environment.
the emission of greenhouse gases: the release into the air of gases which cause the temperature of the earth to rise.
chemical fertilisers: chemical substances added to the soil to make plants grow
.weedkillers: chemical substances that are used to destroy wild plants, especially among farm crops.
play a pivotal role: a role which is very important, because other things depend on it.
renewable energy sources: sources of energy which are replaced naturally, such as power from the sun or the wind.
dependence on fossil fuels: fuels such as coal or oil, that were formed over million of years from the remains of animals or plants, on which some countries rely for much of their energy production.
global warming: the increase in the temperature of the earth, caused by the increase of greenhouse gases.
eco-friendly: not harmful to the environment.
waste treatment: the treatment of materials that are no longer needed and are thrown away.