Lecture09

Lecture09 - Rethinking Modern Technology XM ‘ ‰*“ * h...

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Unformatted text preview: Rethinking Modern Technology XM ‘ ‰*“ * h ‰“ Lau Chong­Fuk 2008­09 First Term Lecture 9 Quantification and Rational Calculation Benefit vs. Risk Benefit vs. Risk ► Automatism of Technical Choice ► Benefit/Risk Analysis Maximizing efficiency and utility (Utilitarianism!) Weighing the expected benefits against the risks probabilistically Technical Problems: how to estimate the probabilities of risks accurately? E.g., the probabilities of catastrophic accidents, injury to workers. Theoretical Problems: how to estimate the value of human life, other species or natural environments? ► Value of a man = the sum of his/her future income? = the sum of his/her future contributions to society? = invaluable or infinity? Case 1: Nuclear Energy Case 1: Nuclear Energy ► Pros ► Cons Compared to fossil fuels like coal and oil, nuclear energy is efficient and produces less contaminants. Accidents are rare. Non­renewable, high start­up costs Radioactive waste Limited life of reactors (40­50 yrs.) Possibility of meltdown (Chernobyl) Potential targets for terror attacks Smuggling of radioactive materials Developments of nuclear weapons Case 2: Automobile Case 2: Automobile ► Risks (car accidents) Car accidents kill about 1.2 million and injure 50 million people worldwide each year (= everyday about 3300 killed and 130000 injured, figures from wiki) Hong Kong: about 200 killed and 20000 injured each year ► Is it too risky? http://www.td.gov.hk/road_safety/road_traffic_accident_statistics/index.htm http://www.td.gov.hk/road_safety/road_traffic_accident_statistics/index.htm Case 3: Ford Pinto Case 3: Ford Pinto ► A car type manufactured by Ford in 1970s ► Scandal (a case of cost­benefit analysis!) Safety problem: fuel tank easily damageable in rear­end collision, sometimes resulted in fires and explosions. Ford was aware of the design flaw, but refused to pay the minimal expense of a redesign. 27 people ever died in Pinto fires (over 2 million built). It is more cost effective to pay off potential lawsuits than to pay the cost of $11 for each repair! Ford gained a reputation for manufacturing “the barbecue that seats four”. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Pinto •½ª* h. ‰ “ * ► Ù� : D � � � �â �* � � D • � � � ► � � � � � � � � @ D •� � � ; D ►� � � � ► � ° � � �Å �â �* � � ñ D ��� ‘ Æ� h ‰ ‰ **� �� � D � �e ““ ► � �æ � ˉ� â � * � � � D� � � � � � �� � � � D � �æ � ˉ� â � * � � D � � � �æ � ˉ� â � * � � D � � � � � � �� � � � f ► �� � � �� � �. � � � ‰ �ª �— �— D � � ��� � ¶ Z� ; ¿� @ � D � � ��� � ¶ Z�´ @ � ¿� 7 170 h ‰ ‰ 600 h � � “ª 170 . ¿ � — * �� � F � � � D f˜½ x h @ ‰ ½ “ª ** � � Ö The Myth of Growth Growth of World Population Growth Industrial Production Industrial Production http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_Domestic_Product Limits to Growth Limits to Growth ► The earth’s natural resources are finite! ► According to some estimations, the following energy sources will be exhausted in … Oil: 29 ­ 40 years Natural Gas: 34 ­ 66 years Coal: 94 ­ 191 years Uranium: 24 ­ 49 years Global Warming Global Warming ► Kyoto Protocol (1999): “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere” ► The restriction is mild: By 2008­2012, developed countries have to reduce their GHG emissions by around 5% below their 1990 levels. Developing countries have no GHG emission reduction obligations. Emissions trading allowed Successful implementation will only reduce an estimated increase of 1.4 °C to 5.8 °C by somewhere between 0.02 °C and 0.28 °C by the year 2050. ► The world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, USA, signed the protocol (under Clinton), but refused to submit it for ratification (under Bush). One of Bush’s major arguments is that China, being the world’s second­largest emitter, is exempted from the restrictions. Greenhouse Gases Greenhouse Gases GDP per Capita 2007 GDP per Capita 2007 Hong Kong (2007): 29,753 GDP per Capita: HK vs. USA GDP per Capita: HK vs. USA http://www.science.org.hk/Newsevents­ReportFigure.htm Gini Coefficient ( h Gini Coefficient ( HK Gini ► 1981 ► 1991 ► 2001 ► 2006 ‰ ) 0.451 0.467 0.525 0.533 The Reality of Inequity http://www.worldmapper.org World Map World Map GDP 2002 GDP 2002 Total Population Total Population “Out of every 100 persons added to the population in the coming decade, 97 will live in developing countries.” Total Births Total Births Life Expectancy Life Expectancy HIV Prevalence HIV Prevalence Malaria Deaths Malaria Deaths Military Spending 2002 Military Spending 2002 War Deaths 1945­2000 War Deaths 1945­2000 An estimated 51 million people have been killed in wars between 1945 and 2000. Almost a third of these deaths were amongst the population of China. War Deaths 2002 War Deaths 2002 In 2002 there were an estimated 172,000 war deaths worldwide. ...
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