While technological innovations have helped to reduce our carbon footprint, it is not enough. It will take changes in how each of us live our daily lives to make a significant environmental impact.
One of the reasons that technology fails to meet the environmental needs we have is because “different social, cultural, institutional and political settings would seem to effect the success of energy efficiency programmes” (White, n.p.). This means that without the support of society as a whole, programs to increase efficiency cannot have the impact which one would hope for.
Another reason to seek total societal change is because it has been shown that “social and economic relations influenced the technical needs of society and shaped the objectives of science” (York and Clark, n.p.). Since it is obvious that the needs of each society shape the technology we create, it is logical to seek ways to change society. An example of this issue is China. Their manufacturing plants seek to make items as cheaply as possible, and therefore pollute a lot. This is because so many people are seeking cheap items to purchase. A small change in how we view spending money would change the technology China uses, hopefully for the better environmentally.
White, D.F. "A Green Industrial Revolution? Sustainable Technological Innovation In A Global Age". Environmental Politics 11.2 (2002): 1-26. Web.
York, Richard, and Brett Clark. "Critical Materialism: Science, Technology, And Environmental Sustainability*". Sociological Inquiry 80.3 (2010): 475-499. Web.