Technology VS. Environment & Health: Biotechnology, Chemicals, Nuclear & More | #4

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Humans are pretty damn smart. Our technological innovations are nearly magic, including inventions our ancestors could not have even imagined. But if we’re so smart, why do we create technology that is so destructive to our health and the natural environment – and even threaten our future with pandemics or other emergencies? Are we really as smart as we think we are?


If we are as innovative as we think, we should be able to innovate safety systems, regulations and public policies that protect our environment, our health and our future from the dangerous technologies people invent and release into the world.


Today we explore how we might manage ourselves and innovate safely.


Resources:


Nuclear waste:

~ Verge Science, 8/28/18 88,000 tons of radioactive waste – and nowhere to put it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgVyPwhkoJs

~ CBS This Morning, 6/10/19 Inside the $19B hole at the center of a nuclear waste controversy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML3nk02dC2o


Chemicals:

~ Consumer Reports, 9/24/20 Why Dangerous 'Forever Chemicals' Are Still Allowed in America's Drinking Water

https://www.consumerreports.org/water-quality/why-dangerous-forever-chemicals-are-still-allowed-in-americas-drinking-water/

~ The Conversation, 10/9/20

PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ are widespread and threaten human health – here’s a strategy for protecting the public

https://theconversation.com/pfas-forever-chemicals-are-widespread-and-threaten-human-health-heres-a-strategy-for-protecting-the-public-142953

~ New York Times, 3/5/21

Book Review - COUNT DOWN: How Our Modern World Is Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, Threatening Sperm Counts, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race By Shanna H. Swan

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/05/books/review/shanna-swan-count-down.html

~ The Guardian, 3/18/21

Plummeting sperm counts, shrinking penises: toxic chemicals threaten humanity

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/18/toxic-chemicals-health-humanity-erin-brokovich?utm_term=4b1133f2176357b0fda5ed60087a09c4&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayUS&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=GTUS_email

~ U.S regulation of chemicals is a joke:

Wikipedia - Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxic_Substances_Control_Act_of_1976


BioTechnology:

~ Foreign Affairs, May/June 2018 The Ultimate Life Hacker: A Conversation With Jennifer Doudna https://www.foreignaffairs.com/interviews/2018-04-16/ultimate-life-hacker

~ MIT Technology Review, 6/19/18 US military wants to know what synthetic-biology weapons could look like https://www.technologyreview.com/2018/06/19/66749/us-military-wants-to-know-what-synthetic-biology-weapons-could-look-like/

~ Future of Life Institute Benefits & Risks of Biotechnology https://futureoflife.org/background/benefits-risks-biotechnology/?cn-reloaded=1

~ New York Times Magazine, 1/8/20 The Gene Drive Dilemma: We Can Alter Entire Species, but Should We? https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/08/magazine/gene-drive-mosquitoes.html

~ Science Magazine, 7/6/17 How Canadian researchers reconstituted an extinct poxvirus for $100,000 using mail-order DNA https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/07/how-canadian-researchers-reconstituted-extinct-poxvirus-100000-using-mail-order-dna