About two decades ago, I gave a talk to an audience that included some devout environmentalists. In one of my answers to one of these persons, I said that if a technological fix could be found for, say, the hole in the ozone layer (a big topic in those days), by e.g. sending a rocket up into the hole and shovelling ozone out into the hole, thereby mending it, that would mean that we could be a little more relaxed about causing the hole to get big in the first place. In general, I argued, technologically fixable problems are less of a worry than technologically unfixable ones.
It was if I had said that, on account of a new kind of metal cleaner recently invented, it had become less of a problem if people broke into churches and pissed on crucifixes. It was, I was told in shocked tones, the very idea that problems could be solved with technology that was at the heart of the evil that humanity was facing.
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