SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English
Kim Boram “Environment and Scientific Technology”
“Science saves and destroys the earth.”
Since I have studied about solar power generation, a type of renewable energies for five years during my master’s and doctoral degree courses, I have always been thinking about this phrase. Through this phrase, I would like to write my feelings about the relationship between “environment and science”.
In recent years, environmental issues like exhaustion of resources such as oil and coal, air pollution, and global warming are becoming more acute. As a result, countries around the world have adopted every possible policy like the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 and the Paris Agreement of 2015. Among those policies, if we focus on the energy issues, the main goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, the purpose of countries that are promoting the use of renewable energy is not only the issue of the global environment but also the protection of energy security, but we will not talk about that here.
In the field of science and technology, the most important thing to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) exhaustion is to develop clean energy sources. Beside solar power generation that I have worked on, there are other power generation systems, like wind power generation, geothermal and biomass power generation etc. There are other approaches of technologies related to the electrification of products such as the development of automobiles which mount electric motor engines instead of gasoline engines. Also, the research has been conducted on capturing CO2, exhausted at thermal power station, and restore it into carbon fuels. Looking at these things, science is thought to be a discipline that can save the future earth. However, what I have always been questioning is that the development of science and technology has caused the current environmental problems.
Scientific technology has invented various things to enrich human life. At present, the indispensable of our daily life such as the electrical products like mobile phones and computers including vehicles such as automobiles and airplanes and functional materials for clothes are all products made by the development of science and technology. Even mass production, which have been developed to meet our increasing population, was made by development of scientific technology. Even just from what is stated here, it is clear that human life has been abundant due to the development of science. At the same time, consumption of energy and natural resources buried in the ground (metal etc.) are being critical. It is estimated that the world economy that has continued to develop since the industrial revolution that took place in the latter half of the 18th century will continue to grow by the development of the developing countries. However, it is speculated that the depletion of resources and environmental issues will continue to grow and become more serious.
The unknown world is explicated down to nanometer unit by the development of science and even taking pictures of black holes has been successful. I think scientific technique could make clear about any phenomenon on earth and in planet and enrich human life. However, I hope such scientific technique will be utilized not only for human beings but also for the global environment. Science destroys the earth for human life, but science also has the key to overcome it. In fact, efforts are now started to develop renewable energies, electric motors for cars, and plastics that melts quickly. I, as a researcher of engineering science, would like to challenge my research and knowledge for the future of the earth.
Kim_Boran / Special researcher of Power Device at Samsung Electronics (Korea)
Translated by Kazuo Kawamura
English checked by Sabina Koirala