Green Technology

Abstract

A comparative analysis of the environmental and economic imperatives will afford a position about the most compelling imperative. The paper begins by discussing green technology, proceeds to make a detailed discussion of environmental imperative culminating with a discussion of the economic imperative to precipitate a clear understanding of the weightiest imperative of the two, ending with a discussion of the opportunities and the researcher’s contribution to the opportunities.

A strong ethical link should be established between nature and human beings, gradually determining a collective behavior and attitudes of human beings towards the environment endearing them to adopt green technology.

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Green Technology

Green technology had its emergency in the 1990 when a number of environmental consequences on the use of already available technologies had started to be experienced on a wide scale (Green Technology, 2006). Then, scientists realized that burning of fossil fuels and other human activities had been the major source of gases that were evidently known to create the green house gas effects in the environment.

It was further projected that at the then current rate of releasing the green house gases, a revolutionary technology was necessary to curb and reduce the observed trend. That was when green technology was recognized as one of the main approaches to altering the destructive behavior of human beings on the environment.

In Green Technology (2006), it is argued that a strong ethical link could be established between nature and human beings, thus, influencing the collective behavior and attitudes of human beings towards the environment. The links between all these components that seems to provide a handy solution to all the problems and challenges about the environment was and remains to be green technology.

It has been argued that intrinsic values can be gained from the use of green technology. They include benefits in the development of social life, improvements in the economic lives of people, and the environment in all its respects.

In addition to that, green technology has been identified to contribute positively to the provision of much needed energy while leaving the environment clean and intact. Thus, natural resources are preserved in the process, for the current and future generations. Therefore, green technology reinforces the concept on the stewardship of the environment towards nature (Green Technology, 2006).

It is important to explicitly understand the definite meaning of green technology. “Green technology is the term for any application of science, knowledge of technology towards improving the relationship between human technology involvement and the impact this has on the environment and natural resources” (Green Technology, 2006). However, green technology is concept that can be implemented with the environmental and economic imperatives whose weight is analyzed below.

The Most compelling Imperative

It has been sanguinely argued that both the environmental and the economic imperatives are complimentary for green technology despite each bearing its own weight relative to the other. However, an analysis of both imperatives will afford a more definite answer about the one imperative that is more compelling than the other.

On the basis of an environmental imperative, Mintzer, Miller and Serchuk (n.d) argue that scientific research has shown a strong correlation between acid rain and other environmentally destructive pollutants to be the direct result of human activities particularly in the extraction of energy from fossil fuels by burning them.

Policy makers synonymously agree on that point. On that basis, green technology, from the perspective of environmental imperative is viewed as one that comes in between the destruction and conservation of the environment.

Analytically, therefore, despite costs projected to be incurred in either toting up the environment and preventing damage to the environment have been fiercely contended giving credit to the economic imperative, yet it is worth noting that the environmental imperative provides a way in which people should be personally responsible for their actions.

In addition to that, Mintzer, Miller and Serchuk (n.d) argue that by products of economic tasks should be the responsibility of the markets and decision makers, propping up the point that the environmental imperative is a strong driving force in the direction of urging people and communities to adopt green technology.

It is also possible to argue, according to Mintzer, Miller and Serchuk (n.d), that many people across many cities in the world today breathe air whose quality is below the recommended standards, emphasizing further on the environmental imperative.

Mintzer, Miller and Serchuk (n.d) contend that a litany of adverse environmental effects have been experienced ranging from global warming, effects of burning fossil fuels, threatening rising levels of seas and a myriad of other adverse effects, further giving impetus to the environmental imperative. It is further argued that shifting to the use of green technology from carbon producing activities comes with numerous economic benefits (Eckersley, 2010).

Among the most immediate benefits include improved human health, reduced effects of land degradation, and overall stagnation of the most dreaded effect, global warming. Thus, green technology will supplement these energy sources and the benefits outweigh the cost of investment (Hart, 2009).

On the other hand, the economic imperative, though, complimentary in green energy pursuits, is sometimes difficult to quantify and implement. That is particularly the case when companies are slow and find it difficult to integrate all aspects of economic social responsibility in an economic perspective.

Siegel (2009) adds weight to the argument by deductively asserting that private and social costs of a firm cannot be accurately merged. In addition to that, Siegel (2009) further argues that firms see economic value in, for example a forest, based on the economic benefits derived from these assets.

The economic imperative fails in its model, or at least, finds it difficult to incorporate the element of external costs such as costs incurred due to the destruction of the environment such as economic activities that directly result in acid rains and other adverse effects on the environment.

However, the model can only be propped up by government intervention by addressing social costs associated with the economic model. Siegel (2009) further argues that incorporating a model in firms that embrace environmental social responsibility may be challenging to firms since their sole objective is to make profits.

In addition to that, instrumental use of environmental social responsibility (ESR) may not be motivational in its context to firms. Thus, the possibility of green technology being propelled and motivation for its use being emphasized from the perspective of the economic imperative remains a challenge and dim compared to the environmental inoperative.

However, one can argue that the economic imperative is not entirely without weight in encouraging the use of green technology. In the arguments presented by Siegel (2009), a number of firms have realized the economic sense of incorporating ESR in their activities.

Siegel (2009) affirms that firms have started to integrate ESR in the pursuit of green technology as it has been realized that opportunities are rive for firms who make early entry into the field of green technology. Analytically, therefore, it is possible for firms which make early market entry with green technology to offer such competion to late entrants thus enabling them to provide high entry barriers leading them to perform much better than rivals.

Analytically, therefore, the environmental imperative, given the lengthy arguments presented above bear more weight than the economic imperative in adopting the green technology.

Available Opportunities

Nevertheless, it has been noted that while thousands of jobs can been generated with green technology, manufacturing solar panels is largely outsourced, and their design and construction is still in its infancy in the US (Fitzgerald, 2009). That is one of the opportunities that need to be seized upon.

However, it is now clear that most cities are ready to take the initiative of becoming solar energy centers. That may result in the creation of an array of job opportunities due to green technology. Besides that, lack of federal standards to provide subsidies for the green economic model is a challenge and shortcoming for the technology.

That has been evident from previous attempts to go green by adopting wind energy, adoption of cars that are non-polluting, retro-filling jobs, and environmental cleanup jobs as has been evidently argued by (Fitzgerald, 2009).

Fitzgerald (2009) compellingly argues that a number of success factors catalyzed by evidently strong propping elements in the economic model for the implementation of diverse green technologies are evident across a number of cities in the US. One typically motivating example is the Austin Texas. The city is well placed in terms of a strong political base that supports the use of green technology.

City facilities that can be tailored to adapt to the technology, informed and friendly citizens who have come to embrace the use of green technology, a highly educated and technically skilled workforce, a range of incentives particularly financial incentives, besides a supportive business community are among the supporting variables for implementing green technology (Fitzgerald, 2009).

Arguments indicate that the success of green technology, despite the favoring environmental, economic, and political environment, success is far from complete.

Despite the slow pace of success, a number of initiatives have been aggressively launched and are projected to contribute a significant amount of electricity into the consumer grid. Among these is the 2008 AE initiative.

It is projected that by 2020, a total of 100 megawatts of electricity will be generated from the project. A number of other initiatives that are distributed and in Texas include the Clean Energy Incubator by Austin, the Clean Energy Park, and HelioVolt among others.

Another motivating example of available opportunities in green technology is the HelioVolt Company which was established solely to manufacture thin film solar cells with an aim of creating an estimated 150 jobs. The company is one example of companies that are fast fitting into the green technology economic model.

Based on the arguments by both Siegel (2009) and Fitzgerald (2009) the possibility of making the array of available opportunities to fruition on the use of green technology includes a call for a concerted effort by the government to tailor and implement relevant policies on the use of green technology (Veen, 2010).

In addition to that, firms need to recognize and enforce the concept of environmental social responsibility (ESR) at firm level and even policy level as a universal requirement for companies whose activities are related to the environment. Further still, according to Fitzgerald (2009), the government should initiate green technology programs and provide incentives towards achieving that objective.

References

Eckersley, R., (2010). The politics of carbon leakage and the fairness of border measures. Ethics & International Affairs, 367 (27), 24.4.

Green Technology. (2006). Strategy and Leadership for clean and sustainable communities. Retrieved February 23 2011, from Green Technology Website:
http://www.green-technology.org/what.htm

Fitzgerald, J. (2009). Cities on the front lines .conversion to solar and wind energy Is an environmental necessity and an industrial opportunity. Success will require a concerted national policy. London: Oxford University Press.

Hart, S.L. (2009). Taking the Green Leap. Cornell University, Retrieved February 23, 2011, from http://coyneclients.com/cornell/global_forum_smpr/Taking_the_Green%20Leap.pdf

Mintzer, I., M., Miller, A., S., & Serchuk, A. (n.d). The Environmental Imperative: A Driving Force in the Development and Deployment of Renewable Energy Technologies.

Siegel, D. S., (2009). Green Management Matters Only If It Yields More Green: An Economic/Strategic Perspective. Retrieved February 23, 2011, from http://www.nwcor.com/NWCOR/Content/Readings/Green%20Management%201.pdf

Veen, C. V. (2010). Can Green Technology Propel Economic Development?.

Retrieved February 23, 2011, from
http://www.governing.com/topics/economic-dev/Can-Green-Technology-Propel.html

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