Technology for evil and the environment

Technology is moving from a tendency for evil to deliberate evil and the environmental sector isn’t ready.

I first noticed several years ago that mapping and directions apps have a tendency towards evil and will prioritise driving and getting a taxi over walking options.

Now we have National Highways England going into schools to do deliberate evil, using Minecraft to normalise road building schemes for kids.

As I thought back in 2017 we need to be doing two things to combat this. 1) Lobby technology companies not government and 2) Create our own better apps.

The environmental movement is blind to apps, algorithms and technology as far as I can see. This is because it is a professionalised movement organised around public affairs. It is only really interested in government advocacy and behavior change.

We do see alternative apps and services being created (this gives me hope) but they are too often small scale, not real competitors or a little too homespun. Nonetheless they could be an important tool in showing another way when trying to make technology companies do better.

If you are interested in saving the planet then please learn to code.