Chicago’s New Network

By:  Deven Girgenti, ’20

“Climate change is happening, humans are causing it, and I think this is perhaps the most serious environmental issue facing us” – Bill Nye (DRI). Climate change is blatantly evident in today’s environment, situating itself at the forefront of many political, economic, and environmental debates today. Throughout the world this is evidenced by smog, rising sea levels, poisoned waters and animals, and declining human health (NASA). Approximately thirty percent of registered voters in America do not believe in climate change, a staggering number to say the least (Scientific American). One of the main problems is the fact that many people cannot fathom the existence of climate change because they do not necessarily see its effects in front of them (CIO). A few bright minds in Chicago are working to change that.

The Array of Things is essentially a network of nodes that will collect real-time data to relay information regarding environmental problems back and forth for data analysis. This will help to obtain information regarding different levels of CO2 and other chemical and gas levels in the air. The nodes contain different sensors for some of the most major chemicals that affect everyday life, including things that affect allergies. These will help to give people information regarding their neighborhoods so that they may avoid poor air quality areas, giving them the ability to plan less polluted routes. (BBC) This is only the start to fighting poor air quality.

The lack of poor air quality control is actually hurting people’s lives and their children’s lives. Dr. Nick Hopkinson, a spokesperson for the Array of Things state that, “[The] lack of clean air is actually the third leading cause of death in the world…” (BBC). Increasing air pollution is one of many signs of increasing climate change around the globe. Although the Array of Things is currently only implemented in Chicago, the possibilities of this technology are unbounded. Further funding and implementation could see the Array of Things or similar technology in thousands of cities worldwide. The most likely places to begin would be high population, highly funded cities with the resources for implementation similar to Chicago such as San Francisco, NYC, or Miami. Increased use of the Array of Things would bring attention to people who would be forced to fully understand the implications of increasing pollution in the world. While they will be able to avoid potentially hazardous routes, climate change will be brought to the forefront of their attention and skeptics would be able to directly see how climate change affects their world.

Being able to understand and interpret what is actually going on in the air around someone will get them to understand and believe that climate change is real. The impacts of climate change are immediate and affect every person worldwide. In order to combat this ever-changing world, people must be educated on the effects of climate change, then forced to contend with the implications of what they are learning. Knowing about the problems of climate change and air pollution will bring more people to want to protect the environment. The Array of Things aims to educate and contend against the terrors of climate change and pollution.

 

Sources

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/maps-show-where-americans-care-about-climate-change/

https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

http://www.cio.com/article/2377707/government-use-of-it/a-tech-effort-seeks-to-make-climate-change-up-close-and-personal.html

http://www.dri.edu/images/stories/editors/greenpower/greenpower/LV_Annual_Training_2013/DRI_Climate_Change_Presentation.pdf
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-39229221

Filed in: Featured content, Technology

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