Science will most likely advance to a point where all diseases will have a cure of some sort. However society will have to go through some massive changes before it will happen. These changes will have to be in our character on a basic and universal level. We will have to outgrow our greed and selfishness before we will allow our technology to reach that level.
Science can give us the ability to change things, but ability alone will not make any real and lasting changes. The age old problems of our own making still plague us to this day. We want what we want when we want it, and as quickly as we can get it. Instant gratification is more important to us than the satisfaction of a job well done. We celebrate mediocrity, expect instant reward for half effort, and demand less and less from the most exceptional among us.
For any of us to expect science or technology to save us from ourselves is unrealistic and shows the real problems we face. It's not a lack of technology but a lack of character that stops us from having the clean safe water and environment we need.
Lately in the U.S. there has been interest in new energy technologies and hybrid automobiles. These are not new technologies at all; in fact many have been around for decades. These things were not put forth until gasoline prices skyrocketed. Why is that? Three reasons; cost, difficulty and greed. Cost is the only thing that is not a direct result of our greed and laziness. It is of course affected by those factors but not entirely controlled by them.
Want proof? Go to a convenience store and buy a bottle of water and then a bottle of soda pop, then look at what goes into making each of them and notice the prices are the same. Strange how one can have multiple ingredients with a much more complex manufacturing process and yet cost exactly the same as something that either comes straight from a natural spring or runs through a filter alone. They both go in simple plastic containers; both come in generally the same size servings. So what's the deal here? The "deal" is simple, business men discovered people want convenience even when it insults their intelligence. Some will pay double or even triple for simplicity especially if it's marketed well.
Another piece of evidence against us is in the very nature of pollution itself. Most pollution comes from our waste and byproducts from industry. At current levels our technology can counteract most of these, but the costs and difficulties prohibit us from acting except in the most extreme circumstances. It took smog to become a unavoidable health problem and eyesore before we even began to address it. Many great rivers and lakes had to become nearly toxic before we took any action. We bury nuclear waste and toxic chemicals by the ton, most of our trash is done the same way and we wonder when science will come and save us.
All the science and technology in the world will not save us from ourselves. We must stop basing success on a monetary basis, and advancement on efficiency. Sometimes just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. Perhaps the very things we want the most are in reality the least beneficial to our society. If we can all begin to invest in the distant future now we can ensure that future is a much brighter one.
Some of the most important things are done because they are the right thing and not because the profit margin is so high. We cannot place a value on our environment, it is irreplaceable and when it's gone we are gone as well.
The entire eco-system of the world is a balance, sway that balance one way or another too far and it will fail. We have holes in our ozone layer and now skin cancer is increasing. In addition we bury our toxic waste and refuse, use massive amounts of chemicals every day, and we find our waters becoming more polluted. Water is able to cut through rock, rust steel, and seep into every inch of soil in our world, so what we do here will eventually effect even the farthest reaches on this planet. We pollute soil in Ohio and it will eventually get to Lake Erie, which will in turn lead to the oceans and waters of the rest of the world. It may not happen in a day, year, or even decade but it will happen and when it does we'll all lose.
It's not science and technology that will save our water supply, but they will give us the tools we need to save us from our biggest enemy; ourselves. In the end it will still rely on our growth as a people and depth of social consciousness. When our humanity and knowledge are equal the science will be there waiting.