Impact of Industrialization on the Environment Essay

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Impact of Industrialization on the Environment

During the past several hundred years, humans have begun to industrialize rapidly. Tons of new technologies with all sorts of capabilities have sprung up. In many cases, these added capabilities have been used to manipulate natural things for human benefit, often at the expense of other things. On the other hand, technological advancement has required that humans come to a better understanding of the world, bringing with it a greater potential to do good, to manipulate things for the benefit of the planet. Technological advancement has essentially given us the “can”, and so now the question becomes “should”. Should we do something because we can? Industrialization has increased the
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People can now spend entire days indoors, without ever even being aware of whether or not the sun is shining. Food is available at the grocery store, in neat little packages that may be consumed at whim. Fruits and vegetables once considered seasonal are now available year-round. We can splice genes, create entirely new living things with weird abilities (plants that can repel pests without needing to be sprayed with pesticide? Animals that grow so large that their skeletons cannot support them?). The list goes on and on. The question is, what does all of this mean? What have we done with these remarkable abilities?

Technology has allowed us a certain degree of freedom from consequences. We can do things now that we never could have done before without a certain degree of human suffering. The major example of this, of course, is population growth. It all started back when we were hunter-gatherers: bands of people remained fairly small because that was all that the environment could support. There simply wasn’t enough food for anyone else. With the advent of agriculture, large civilizations began to develop because agriculture brought with it the ability to extract more nutrition from a smaller area of land. Since those early days, this has continued to be true of many technologies: they have enabled greater and greater numbers of humans to survive quite painlessly. “advances in agricultural and industrial technology
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