I was intrigued to learn recently that the first dolphin conversation has been observed. We have long known – though many might dispute it – that we are not the only intelligent or indeed conscious animals on Earth. Depending on how it is measured we may not even be the most intelligent life form currently inhabiting this planet. We really cannot even be absolutely certain that there have not been other life forms on earth that were or are more intelligent than we consider ourselves to be. Whatever factors lead to the development of intelligence other factors such as attrition due to the destruction of habitat, predation, or a pandemic can wipe out a sustainable population of any geographically specific species in a short period of time and probably have done thousands of times perhaps leaving a few survivors to seek out or be discovered by others who might find enough genetic similarities to breed or provide ahandy meal.
What is certain is that our own species of hairless apes has relatively recently begun engaging in activities that are rapidly destroying the habitats that our fellow life forms rely on to survive and this behaviour cannot be considered intelligent as it will impact on us too. It is a great shame that at a time when we appear to have the means to live sustainably and in relative harmony with the planet that progress is seemingly only possible if the environment is damaged and little consideration is given regarding the impact of our activities, and the way we choose to live, on other species and the overall well-being of the planet. Of course if we all agreed to stop harming the planet and respect life and the environments that sustain it then that would be a huge step forward.
The dystopian future that H. G. Wells portrayed in his book ‘The Time Machine’ often haunts me. A world where technology is present and used but not understood and where our species has merely become a source of food for a stronger species
I think wearable technology has a role to play in that it might be adapted to help us to measure the impact we have on the environment in a variety of ways. For example our food choices might be monitored and we might be advised to make decisions about what we eat that are better for the environment. We might be advised regarding transport that has less of an impact or interact with intelligent home environments that maximise energy efficiency and help us to minimise harmful waste. We might for instance live in greener cities that use renewable energy resources and our wearable technology will enable us to make smarter choices living in them helping to keep us fit, healthy and safe.
We don’t have to plunder and damage the planet if we share resources and only use what we need being sure to take into account the impact of what we do and replant, replace, and renew as we go.