For many people who are apprehensive about anthropogenic environmental impairment in the world, thoughts about the role of technology and technological change in that phenomenon are never far away. Technology, according to them, is often either the cause or the solution for environmental degradation. The way modern technologies are designed, some would argue, introduces intrinsic properties that can either irreparably damage or, conversely, eliminate all damage to the environment. More recently, scholars have stressed the importance of viewing technology as inherently ambivalent in its properties. Drawing on empirical studies from recent social science scholarship, they argue that technology can be used by humans to be a force either of good or of destruction, but that choice can be made eventually only by humans.

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