Working with our environment: an introduction
Working with our environment: an introduction

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Working with our environment: an introduction

Conclusion

In this Introduction we have explored the development of technology from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the present day. At the same time we have traced the increasing impact our industrial societies have had on our environment, and the role that science and technology has played in this. We have explored some major global environmental issues, in particular our dependence on the exploitation of fossil fuels, and have outlined some of the fundamental constraints on the ability of the environment to absorb the resultant emissions and waste products.

I have used three studies of refrigeration to illustrate some of these points and also to explore the breadth and complexity of their interactions. You could argue that our current use of cold appliances affects more than the home, that they are inextricably tied in to our use of supermarkets, town planning, globalisation of food and transport. As actors in this story, engineers, designers and technologists increasingly have to take a broad view of their role, while policy makers and the public need to be able to question decisions, and the assumptions that lie behind them. Whatever your expertise, as a concerned individual you now have the opportunity to explore in more detail some of the issues raised here.

T172_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus