The world needs to prioritize technological development

Emmett Spaw , Guest Writer

Listen, I don’t think anyone expects it to be our first concern in this environment, but the issue of scientific development transcends the pandemic. 

Our government, as well as many others, seem to have developed an apathy for the sciences. Private companies like SpaceX have become the sole pioneers of space travel, initiatives for crucial green energy research often go without federal support, and funding on a school level is practically nonexistent. Furthermore, our research into new technologies has stalled, despite an increasing need for them.

The overwhelming potential of our final frontier remains untapped. 50 years after Apollo 11 we’re still only capable of going to the moon, and the most prominent space travel organization lies in the hands of a reckless billionaire who spends his time insulting rescue divers and giving strange names to children. Federal and public support for space programs have become noticeably lower since the end of the space race, despite an astronomical (see what I did there?) increase in possibilities. We cannot identify what 85% of the universe is made of, and yet here we are, floating around on a rock, watching a bunch of geriatric politicians yell at each other. 

If space travel is the next step in human evolution, we don’t know how to take it. And if we’re truly incapable of it, we certainly have a bigger fish to fry.

Climate change is no longer an inconvenient truth. The climate crisis has been simmering our planet for over a century, and shockingly little has been done about it. The Paris climate agreement was a step in the right direction until over 90% of countries started blatantly ignoring it, and its promise of net-zero emissions by 2060 seems simultaneously ambitious and underwhelming. Emissions continue to rise, and it’s clear that current renewable energies just aren’t cutting it. 

At this point, we not only need a green energy whose capabilities can halt the effects of global warming, but also one viable enough to usurp the vice grip of the fossil fuel industry (though that’s a different conversation). All things considered, and at the rate we’re going, our chances of avoiding a climate catastrophe are downright implausible.

Meanwhile, funding at a school level is absolutely atrocious, as I’m sure you’re all aware. It’s unfortunate, especially considering that this is the place where the seeds of innovation are sown. The world needs more fresh minds out there, and inadequate funding certainly isn’t helping. 

Humanity is at a crossroads. I know we have a lot of other issues to work through, but these initiatives may well be imperative to the survival of our species. We can forsake our future by way of apathy, or we can find a way to patch our sinking ship.