Can Technologies Threaten Our Survival?

by Don Fitz

Technology can turn from humanity’s salvation to its nightmare as toxins spew into the air and water, undermining biodiversity, exhausting natural resources and contributing to climate change. Water is vital to our survival. But the Earth’s supply of fresh water is being seriously compromised.

In the first show of the series, Bob Criss, of Earth and Planetary at Washington University, describes how water is used by extractive industries such as the mining of coal, uranium, and lead. The question is: How much water contamination is due to bad corporate practices and how much is inherent in industrial production?

Bob Criss is also featured in the second show on “fracking.” Once portrayed as the low-carbon fuel to a renewable energy future, the practice of deep drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract gas from shale rock has advantages but also a host of environmental concerns. In addition to water and air pollution, fracking can cause earthquakes.

The third show is joined by Ben West, who explains dangers of electronic waste. Though there are some positive changes taking place in the industry, electronics is associated with mining for inputs such as coltan, the gluttonous use of water, and the mountains of toxins created.

Air conditioning in St. Louis involves burning lots of coal. In the final show of the series, Gavin Perry of Show Me Solar and Patricia Schuba of Labadie Environmental Organization discuss the pollution, health effects and wasted resources of burning coal in addition to how we could keep cool in summer and use much less electricity.

The November shows include portions of The Hidden Destruction of the Appalachian Mountains, Yellowcake, Unleaded, Fracking Hell, The Story of Electronics and a Stan Cox presentation.

Green Time now airs on KNLC stations in four Missouri areas. It appears in St. Louis at noon on Saturdays and 5:30 pm on Wednesdays on Channel 24-1. It also appears at 8 pm on Mondays in St. Louis (Channel 24-2), Springfield (Channel 39), Joplin (Channel 36) and Marshfield (Channel 17).
November Green Time programs air on Saturdays, Mondays & Wednesdays on these dates:

  • November 3, 5, & 7: “Water, Energy and Mining;”
  • November 10, 12 & 14: “How Safe is Fracking?”
  • November 17, 19, & 21: “The Story of Electronics”
  • November 24, 26 & 28: “Losing Our Cool”

Also see Green Time on greentime.tv and facebook.com/pages/Green-Time-TV/186014811491714

If you would like to help produce Green Time TV call 314-727-8554 or email fitzdon@aol.com.