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How Technology Can Help Combat Climate Change

Technology is defined as the collection of knowledge, skills, and techniques to accomplish a goal or objective. It is also synonymous with invention and innovation, which are seen as the most important tools in combating the climate crisis and healing our planet. Innovative technology could provide renewable and sustainable sources of energy, from more accessible and lower-cost solar cells to reducing and eventually eliminating carbon emissions. Much of this technology is either in use or actively being developed, but the innovation itself is not the challenge. Climate change, renewable energy, and letting conventional wisdom go explains that “technological change is not the hardest part. The necessary technologies already exist. They are improving rapidly as they are deployed at scale. The difficult parts of the renewable energy transition are shifting away from the existing infrastructure for fossil fuel-based energy systems and overcoming political, institutional, and cultural resistance to change.” The Climate Modeling Alliance (CliMA) is a group composed of engineers, scientists, and mathematicians from MIT, CalTech, the Naval Postgraduate School, and NASA focused on constructing accurate models of the impacts of the climate crisis. This is an example of how technology can be harnessed to monitor the effects of climate change, as well as predict the damages it will inflict. Accurate predictions can also help create effective strategies to combat climate change. While advances in technology can certainly assist us in combatting the effects of the climate crisis, it will not reverse our mistakes or stop the widespread symptoms of climate change. We must eliminate the fossil-fuel-based energy systems we rely on and focus on land stewardship and sustainable energy and resources. Technology can be used as a tool to accomplish that.