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The Evolution of a Technological Solution…or is it?

Consider how technology has evolved in your lifetime. These changes may impact how we work to find solutions to the global threats discussed so far. Often times we look at improvements to technology as a positive way or resolving the world’s problems. In fact, there was a technological revolution in the late 1800s and early 1900s that much of the world thought that this newfound technology would save the world and prevent war…or at least shorten it.

When World War I broke out, many of the European countries that were fighting actually thought that technology—trains, airplane, submarines, automatic weapons—would make war end faster, and thus make war loss bloody. However, the United States had a different view based on its history with technology in the Civil War, where Americans quickly learned that technology can actually make a very bloody war end up being even bloodier at a faster rate; it did not end things quickly. Once World War I began, the Europeans learned very quickly that technology was not the world’s savor.

Ironically, war often end up creating revolutionary new and very beneficial technologies. The space age, radio, television, cell phones, the Internet, and even the Interstate highways (actually called the Interstate Highway Defense System) were all invented or created for military purposes. Consider the following in your responses:

– If we could remove the current boundaries of technology and look into the future, how would you use technology to resolve one of these global threats?

– How are some existing technologies being used for not-so-good purposes?

– What are some better ways that technology could be used to address global threats?

– What could be done to get countries to agree to any such changes?

Question 2:


Feeding the World—What possible role could geography play?

This week you learned that there is, in fact, enough food available to feed everyone in entire world every day. However, we can clearly see that feeding people—or more often than not—getting the food to where people live, is a huge problem. The problem is a lot more complex that it at first appears.

Consider the following in your responses:

– Look at the community you live in. If food became inaccessible to your community, how would that affect your day-to-day life and that of your community?

– Historically, food has always been grown near or around population centers, where it could be protected (mostly) and easily transported into the towns in the days when refrigeration and mechanized transportation did not exist. What role does logistics play in modern times in getting food to where it is needed? What complications exist?

– What role does geography play in this story? For example, consider a country like Nepal, which is about 200 miles wide, yet the altitude goes from a few hundred feet about sea level to over 18,000 feet in that 200-mile stretch.

– What role does latitude play in countries being able to grow food or their locations? Consider things like being located along a river, ocean, landlocked, or whether a country is located in a closer or farther from the equator.


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