"Technology" is (the use of) a tool, a machine, or a system of tools, machinery and man-made equiment to perform a certain task.
Examples of technology are a knife, a bakery, a car, a soap factory, a windmill, a plow, clothes, shoes, a home with all its electrical and sanitary installations, and so on.
Natural resources like plant material, wood, metals, and fossil energy are generally needed.
Energy is required for the construction, the operation, and the maintenance of the equipment. If no fossil energy is used, manpower, animal traction or firewood is used. Human and animal power again require energy in the form of foodstuffs, that must be planted, harvested, and transformed, or caught.
A "Technique" designs a method chosen to perfom a task. Examples of different techniques are eating with one's fingers or with fork and knife, walking or using a (motorised) vehicle, gathering food or using agriculture for food production.
Anothe example of different techniques is achieving satisfaction and happiness either by eating, singing and playing, or by watching formula one races on TV.
Technology generally increases the efficiency and speed of a task. The more complicated the technology, the more resources are used. The faster a task is performed, the more technology and energy are required.
The choice of a technique and technology is of primary importance for the speed with which we deplete non-renewable resources and harm other living creatures and lands.
"Adapted Technology" refers to a low grade of technology use, supposed to require a minimum of resources and having a minimal impact on the environment.
Using Technology against climate change: The ecoglobe "Green Machine"|
Reminder: We maintain the balances (sustainability) if we don't consume natural resources and minerals faster than the time which nature requires for regeneration and replenishment.
Potential and limitations of technologyFirst, technology makes life easier and faster. It has increased our range of experiences, like traveling, films, games, and luxuries beyond basic living.
Second, technology can reduce certain harmful effects of human activity, locally.
But the use of technology comes at the cost of increased resource depletion and frequently displaces the environmental impact to another area or to a somewhat later time.
Gruhl argues that the useful, primary effect of technology decreases.
[under construction 10 March 2011, 3 December 2014]