In opposition to Douthwaite’s opinion, Johnston’s states that “technological fixes… both underestimate and inadequately solve complex problems” (Johnston 53). Douthwaite obviously favors the physical sciences to the ‘grey’ social sciences, but somewhat proves the point of Johnston and the Huesemanns by saying “a technological fix is an attempt to answer a social or human problem using technological devices or systems without any attempt to modify or alter the underlying social or human problem” (Douthwaite 31). Without addressing the underlying social or human problem, are you actually solving the problem? Johnston and the Huesemanns think not, and acknowledge the complex, ever-changing nature of humanity where Douthwaite fails to do so. We cannot reduce the problems of humanity to simple mechanics. By doing so, we arrogantly assume we have mastered nature as well as carelessly belittle the consequences of it. It’s just a band-aid on a bullet wound. Granted, one could argue that by leaving social problems to social entities, we would create more social problems. However, by replacing the role of leadership and policy with technology, we resign our most human qualities to it. Besides, since people are biased and flawed, their technological creations have also proven to be so. In the end, our technological fixes could just be an illusion of the greater social problem they attempted to resolve.
Technological fixes to social and environmental systems have negative repercussions because of the interconnections of our environment and the short-sighted solutions technological fixes present. Make no mistake, technological solutions have immensely benefited humanity and they can be used to improve many of the issues today. Consequences should not prevent us from finding technological solutions, however they also should not be left out when considering and developing these solutions. By examining foreseeable consequences, or even hypothetical ones, we, as a society, can better evaluate costs and benefits of these technological solutions before we employ them.