Industrialization, Economics, and the Environment Essay

Industrialization, Economics, and the Environment Essay

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Industrialization, Economics, and the Environment


Human technological advancements make it possible to sustain larger and larger population by exploiting more and more natural resources. The three revolutions in human history, agricultural, industrial and green have all been answers to overpopulation. Naturally, industrialization leads to environmental degradation. The concern with Industrialization is that it is not a long term solution to human sustainability, since it operates under the premise of the tech fix, or the idea that humans will be able to invent new technologies to ensure their own survival. These solutions, while economically advantageous, do not consider the long term impacts of this continual and escalating intensification or resource use and extraction; indeed they suppose an exhaustibility of possibilities. However, the role human nature plays in determining these attitudes and actions which support this system is not insignificant, and is the key which will decide how the future plays out.

What is industrialization?

Dicitonary.com defines industrialism as, "An economic and social system based on the development of large-scale industries and marked by the production of large quantities of inexpensive manufactured goods and the concentration of employment in urban factories". This definition ignores the environmental aspect of industrialism; industrialization pushes the threshold of earth's resource availability. Such demanding management of the natural world is justified in the name of prioritizing immediate human needs over long term sustainability. However, the main environmental impacts of industrialization are those caused by consumption and population growth, which are both culturally malleabl...


... middle of paper ...


...t" (Ridley and Low). The future of the earth and human existence rests on the shoulders of our policy makers in government.

Works Consulted:

Cipolla, C. M. (1996). Epilog from “Guns, Sails, and Empires: Technological Innovation and the Early Phases of European Expansion, 1400-1700.” Sunflower Univ. Press.

Dolan, Edwin G., Ch. 5 from "TANSTAAFL: The Economic Strategy for Environmental Crisis" 1974, pp. 55-72.

Southwick, Charles H., Ch. 15 from "Global Ecology in Human Perspective" Oxford Univ. Press, 1996, pp. 159-182.

Trent, is my citation for an essay entitled "Sogoff on Environnemental Values I" which was posted on a website for an environmental science class at Trent University. http://www.trentu.ca/ers/erst310.shtml

Ridley and Low. "Can Selfishness Save the Environment?" in The Atlantic Monthly; September 1993; Volume 272, No. 3; pages 76-86.

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