It’s no secret that technology is progressing each year. This, of course, always invokes a bit of fear with people thinking, “Are robots going to be doing my job soon?” While it’s true that many jobs can now be automated, the robot revolution hasn’t arrived at our doors just yet. The improvements in technology and artificial intelligence can be a big help in our fight against climate change, but it’s a delicate balance. The use of automation is a process that needs to be closely monitored because, without proper consideration, it can result in more emissions that will have a negative effect.
Before we get to its effects on climate change, let’s discuss one of the big reasons the public is nervous about the advancements of AI. Many people associate the increasing advancements in technology and artificial intelligence with losing their jobs. Unfortunately, this will be a fact some will have to deal with as automated systems begin to take the places of many workers in certain fields. Tasks that can be easily automated such as predictable labor in factories and manufacturing plants, office support jobs, and customer service will likely eventually become the jobs of artificial intelligence. That doesn’t mean every job is going to be handled that way though.
There are many jobs that artificial intelligence isn’t advanced enough for yet. For example, in the medical profession, certain processes might be able to be automated, but can robots create a caring bedside manner? What about the creativity behind a piece of artwork? Many positions still require particular nuances that only a human being can provide. So while it might seem like impending doom at first, job automation isn’t going to wipe out the human workforce completely, and as a bonus, we can use the advancements in technology to help fight climate change. But that’s only if we do it correctly.
Automation, Technology, and the Environment
The number of work-from-home jobs has increased by 140% since 2005. That is a huge leap, and the trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. More people working from home means fewer people driving to office jobs every day and that means fewer cars on the road each day.
While the emissions from your personal car might not seem like they would have a big effect on the environment, imagine your car plus the hundreds of thousands of others on the planet driving their personal cars to work. That makes a much bigger impact.
There are several other ways the automation of certain tasks will be a big help for our environment. One of the easiest jobs for artificial intelligence to take charge of includes farmwork like harvesting crops, planting trees, and even the ability to harvest solar energy. Plus, in some cases like planting trees, the robots actually work faster than humans. This means more trees being planted at faster rates, which means cleaner air for everyone on the planet.
It’s understandable to be nervous that you might lose your job to automated services in the future, but instead of avoiding the topic, it’s best to address it head-on and the top way to do that is to prepare. If you continue to stay up-to-date on new technology, programs, and changes in the workplace, it’s easier to figure out your next move. Start out by mastering skills that will be in high demand in upcoming years. Take a closer look at jobs in tech or focus on the technology within your current organization. If you lean more towards the creative side of your career, learn how you can incorporate creativity into your job. Creative jobs are much harder to automate, which means they’re going to be in higher demand in the future. Of course, none of this means a change in careers is necessary, but instead, find out how the industry you work in is going to be changing and start there.
How to Use Technology in Your Home to Fight Climate Change
Currently, much of the discussion on technology helping reduce the effects of climate change mainly focuses on entire jobs and industries artificial intelligence is beginning to overtake. There are actually a few ways you can use technology in your home to help as well. They range from small to more long term investments, but all of them have a positive impact on our environment.
Many people have been turning to the use of solar energy to heat their homes and it’s a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of your home. As a bonus, some states even offer a tax credit to those who use solar energy. It’s important to keep in mind the different factors that come into play with solar energy such as the location of your house, the amount of shade your home gets and more.
The use of hydropower and wind turbines are other potential ways to help reduce your home’s impact on the environment. Hydropower uses the energy created from flowing water to produce energy in your home while wind turbines use the power from wind. Both might be a little bit trickier to use if you’re in a neighborhood with close property lines. If you’re in an area with open space around your house, wind turbines and hydropower are a great way to not only fight climate change but reduce your energy bills as well.
No matter how you choose to help the environment, the most important aspect is that you’re doing your part to help. As technology advances, we need to make sure we keep that fine balance between helping reduce the effects of climate change and not causing more problems than intended. As we all know, there’s no “planet B.”
Sam Bowman writes about people, tech, wellness and how they merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.
Author: Samuel L. Bowman
Image source: Franck V at Unsplash