Jeff Douthwaite makes a very compelling argument that took almost no time at all to read, which was of course very much appreciated. He makes the idea of the “technological fix” seem like such a warm and pleasant cure-all for just about any ailment that plagues mankind that it would be difficult to argue with him. However, I think that the Huesmanns and Johnston would each have a little something to say about Douthwaite’s ideas. Johnston discusses the technological fix from the views of people like Alvin Weinberg, who believed that technology could solve problems with war, health issues, and the environment (Johnston, 2018). He then goes back through and states the issues with using the technological fix, saying it has been viewed as “a ‘band-aid’ solution to problems” (Johnston, p. 53). This lack of confidence in the technological fix certainly contrasts Douthwaite, and I think that Johnston would use his practical approach to critique Douthwaite’s article. The Huesmanns on the other hand, take more of a nature-oriented approach, and give us a miniature Biology lesson in the process (because who isn’t always in the mood for a little Biology). They point out that although mankind tries its hardest to detach itself from its dependence on nature, “there is, in fact, no such separation” (Huesmann, p.5). The Huesmanns would critique Douthwaite’s article by pointing out our reliance on nature and the fact that we cannot use technology to run from all of our problems.
I believe in the “technological fix” on many levels, but I think that in the majority of circumstances, it can only solve problems on the surface level. This accounts for many of its shortcomings and negative consequences, since the underlying issues with human behavior and actions aren’t really taken care of. However, we should not let these shortcomings stop us from using technology to solve problems, because in many ways, putting a quick layer of technological paint over the rusting surface of society’s major issues is the best solution we have, at least temporarily.