For all its short-term material benefits, technology has often violently destroyed the human habitat. But technology can also help to protect and improve the environment, by monitoring pollutants, providing renewable energy and reusable products. The Science Museum has a fine collection of monitoring equipment including a Geiger counter made by Hans Geiger and a electron capture detector (used to detect chlorofluorocarbons) constructed by James Lovelock. Modern chemical analysis is so powerful that the detection of chemicals in the environment no longer necessarily implies a high risk to the public’s health or to wildlife. There is, however, no consensus on what level of risk is acceptable or what precautions are needed to protect society. As individuals we may want to save the environment, but, we have to overcome together any overarching economic, political and technological systems that may hinder us from making the big and lasting changes required.