In a world of borderless communications, we can quickly access a vast amount of news from around the world. However, this ability creates a “fear”, especially when it comes to catastrophes such as natural disasters (global flood, solar storm, etc.) and even a cursed number such as 13 (2013).
Most of these fears are born from ignorance. It creates false belief and speculation, but the most horrible thing is unawareness, not knowing the reason, not taking action, and how we can’t – and don’t – fight against climate change, which originates from the hands and minds of humans.
In many countries that suffer from natural disasters, the people there continue to live in fear. While others, when affected by the impact of a disaster, try to use their loss to find a countermeasure so that such incidents are not repeated. So, how can we learn from these people?
This is an example of how many countries, when confronted with a disaster, prepare to cope with another tragedy in the future.
Tohoku, Japan - The Sky Village
, a devastating earthquake and a deadly tsunami caused enormous damage to many towns in northeastern Japan. Since then, the country has initiated a Sky Village project in the town of Tohoku. In principal, the project aims to build self-contained islands that are able to move with an earthquake or raise a sphere-like cover to reduce the direct impact of a tsunami. The project also uses solar cells to produce electricity.
Meanwhile, Dordrecht, a historical town in the Netherlands, has established an AFD or Adaptable Flood Defence to counter any flood disaster. It utilizes the town’s limited space, which is surrounded by buildings, by designing these structures into a dike. The flood wall operates in sync with a water-prevention wall technology that can be camouflaged in normal circumstance so that it won’t affect the town’s image.
In other developments, there is a prediction that 2013 will be the year that technology becomes much more developed. Next year it is expected that inventors will have the “courage” to create something new, whether in communications like 4G, E-books, tablets, Cloud-based technologies, or alternative energy to replace the ones we use today. Most of these technologies will be built around humanity and help to protect us. Development is unstoppable and drives our civilization forward to greater ideas. However, there are few, if any technologies at all around today that can protect our lives and the safety of this planet we call home?
Apart from making our lives convenient, some technologies can also reduce or ease the world’s impact in many ways. For example, change our consumption behavior and provide more options by increasing efficiency in order to decrease usage. In such a way, we might not need to use any more resources at all and can rely on reusable products.
Examples of possible technologies that can change our behavior and provide options are limitless, we just need to kick start them.
Real-time Energy Management Systems (REMS)
The development of a Smart Home or Smart Building relies on REMS to measure power consumption and energy use in real time. It is also connected with communication devices to inform residents of impacts that are caused by their behavior. The reason is to create awareness is to motivate people and instill in them the need to change their behavior.
We have developed fuel cells as a production base and as energy storage for devices, transportation, and as an energy source for household. The cells were developed to replace primitive energy sources such as fossil fuels like coal which greatly impact the environment. Today, we can use hydrogen extracted from natural materials as a fuel. This approach is regarded as using technology to provide energy-consumption options for everyday life; now and into the future.
In another form, social media sites have become a popular trend to exchange information interactively. We can access news and information quickly and effortlessly. Moreover, social media is a platform to exchange opinions and perspectives between people in society. It stimulates activities like brainstorming, volunteering, and also encourages us to creatively invent something that can benefit society as a whole.
We should transform our fear into acceptance, and acknowledge the root of the problem. Also, we should dare to change our behavior and resign from excessive consumption in order to delay a disaster. We need to develop or opt to use technology that carefully solves and copes with catastrophes that might occur in the future.
The beginning of 2013 is an auspicious moment and we should overcome our fear and dare to change before the world forces us to change.
Research and Development Department
Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Co., Ltd or DT Group