Technological progress

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Center for the Analysis of Trade and economic Transitions (CATT)
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Technological progress, environmental impact and waste management

Ideas drive the world - Pau

Benoît de GUILLEBON, Director of the APESA, a Center for environmental and sustainable development studies and Jacques LE CACHEUX, Professor of Economic Sciences at the CATT/UPPA

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Beyond major advances like those in biotechnology which seek to increase life-expectancy, or improve the cold circuit to preserve foodstuffs, technological progress seems to pose a threat to the future. This threat is materialized in transportation, robotization and multimedia. “Can the time spent on looking after, paying and driving a car be considered as progress?” asks Benoît de Guillebon. Regarding robotization and mechanization, there are pros and cons. The pros include the generalization of the washing machine that saves time. The cons include the mechanization of agriculture which has switched this sector into industrialization, thereby removing the empathetic relationship between farmers, nature and animals. Agriculture is developing through the exponential use of fertilizers and pesticides that pollute the environment. Finally, in view of the increasing scarcity of natural resources and raw materials, both specialists call for vigilance and awareness: “by always wanting more, we’re heading for disaster. We’re going to have to learn how to be happy with less! “