I have recently started listening to podcasts while travelling (I think I am at least 5 years late to the podcast bandwagon). I have particularly enjoyed ‘the Audio Long Read’ by the Guardian.
A couple of days ago, they published an episode on the history of electric cars. The author pointed out that fuel-run cars were revolutionary at the beginning of the 20th century because they replaced horse-drawn carriages, which drowned cities in horse manure (funnily enough, cars were called horseless carriages back then). However, manufacturers, policymakers and the public did not anticipate the environmental or the geopolitical impact of the large-scale consumption of fuel. The author warns that we must not make a similar mistake with electric vehicles. While they are touted as a solution to our environmental problem - Tesla tells you that you are doing a good deed if you are buying an EV - there are concerns. For example, see this piece, which discusses the child labour involved in cobalt mining, a key component in lithium-ion batteries.
I found the narrative telling. Innovations are projected as if they will only change the world for the better. Social media (read Facebook) was supposed to give voice to the voiceless until it also started manipulating elections. We must keep our eyes open to the adverse effects a technological advancement may cause and work towards mitigating them.
Since I enjoyed this podcast, I want to explore what this world has to offer. Please let me know your favourite podcasts. Also - I have been using Google Podcasts, but I am open to suggestions for better alternatives.