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 effect humans have on the environment, for good or for bad.
It is hard to argue that industrialization has not brought humans a greater ability to manipulate their environment. The list of things that we are now capable of is staggering. Computers, mind-bogglingly sophisticated machines in and of themselves, have enable a world of things to be possible, including the reading of genetic code, prompting Rifkin, in an interview, to deem genes “the raw resource of the biotech industry”. The genetic material that governs every aspect of the development of life is now merely a material for the manipulation of an entire industry. We can clone things (not very well, but still), creating identical creatures at will. “we can go to the moon, orbit earth in space for weeks at a time, send television images around the world in a matter of seconds, and transplant hearts” (Southwick, 170). We can so alter our environment that we are completely unaware of the natural things around us. A room in Japan can completel...
... middle of paper ...
...dearly-held, unconscious collective assumptions may impede our chances for survival. Or, as Poliakoff, et. al., noted, “fundamental changes in technology are adopted… only when they provide real advantage” (810). Are human beings inherently selfish, or are they capable of rising above that? Will we use this power we have developed to help ourselves, or to attempt to help the world? “Why can’t we achieve a better balance between people, resources, and the environment? … The complete answers to these questions lie deeply within the complex realms of science, philosophy, religion, economics, and politics.” (170). The answers may be complicated. The truth is, industrialization has changed our relationship to the environment. It has enabled us to hurt it far more than any other species, but it has also given us the ability to help. The power of choice now lies with us.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Population Growth, Industrialization, and the Environment Human population growth was relatively slow for most of human history. Within the past 500 years, however, the advances made in the industrial, transportation, economic, medical, and agricultural revolutions have helped foster an exponential, "J-shaped" rise in human population (Southwick, Figure 15.1, p. 160). The statistics associated with this type of growth are particularly striking: "Human beings took more than 3 million years to reach a population of 1 billion people...The second billion came in only 130 years, the third billion in 30 years, the fourth billion in 15 years, the fifth billion in 12 years..." (Southwick, p.... [tags: Environment Environmental Pollution Preservation]
1509 words (4.3 pages)
- The industrialization era is one of the most important and wonderful events that have occurred in the past 400 years. Industrialization has had an over all ripple effect upon the world. “Industrialization led to a better quality of life for most people” (Beck, 723). While it may seem to some that Industrialization only impacted Great Britain, it is actually true that industrialization many characteristics and consequences that had a worldwide impact. Industrialization had its up’s and down’s such as economic prosperity, jobs, and innovation.... [tags: british history, industrialize, european history]
620 words (1.8 pages)
- The Effects of Industrialization on Norway’s Economy, Environment and Population Up until the beginning of the twentieth century, Norwegians were primarily fisherman and farmers. The fishing industry has been the basis of life and culture in Norway for hundreds of years. The fishing industry is still very important in Norway, however the discovery of oil in the North Sea has had a huge impact on the Norwegian economy and culture. Oil discoveries in the North Sea have made Norway a wealthy nation.... [tags: Norway Environment Ecology Essays Papers]
5099 words (14.6 pages)
- Passing of the years, development and growth of the planet have been guided to create and produce new things to satisfy human needs with industrialization and modernization regardless the consequences that occurred in the environment. Once, the environment was evaluated, and analysed the impact of people in it, all the effects were vast, for example weakening of the ozone layer, acid rain, decreased natural resources like water, the exploitation of natural resources, effects on air quality, contamination of rivers, deforestation; we realize the damage, we 've been defiling our planet and therefore our quality of life.... [tags: Sustainability, Natural environment]
995 words (2.8 pages)
- During the process of industrialization and development of any country, many parts of the country’s current systems tend to shift. Industrialization and development cause for a change in the economic status of a country along with a change in the production and consumption of resources by said country. For decades, Vietnam has strived to build an independent, self-reliant economy to provide for an improved chance at gaining a steady path towards being industrialized and developed. By gaining this title, Vietnam would move forward towards creating sustainability for future generations to come.... [tags: pollution, vietnam, industrialization]
1008 words (2.9 pages)
- Human Impact on the Environment I. Human Population and Industrialization A. By-products of industrialization 1. Industrialization is driven by energy consumption from coal, petroleum, and natural gas a. Fossil fuels were formed by decomposition and pressure on remains of plants and animals millions of years ago b. Oil is the fuel most widely used, both as starting material for making gasoline and for other products 2. Pollution is any environmental change that adversely affects the lives and health of living things a.... [tags: Papers]
1532 words (4.4 pages)
- Mankind’s industrialization of the world has caused a drastic increase in temperature. This rise in temperature is caused by solar radiation remaining in our atmosphere because of gases produced by humans through the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing, agriculture, and other human activities. These gases block the radiation from escaping into space therefore warming our planet. The result is raising of ocean levels, extinction of species and threatening of children’s health because of disease and less freshwater to drink.... [tags: global warming, environmental issues]
528 words (1.5 pages)
- Introduction Agricultural activity is the earliest human’s activity on the natural ecosystem. It not only changes the local natural ecosystem but it also has a huge impact on the ecological environment. When many scholars trace back the historical roots of the problems of ecological environment, naturally they will be concern about the traditional mode of agricultural production, even back to the age when the foundation of traditional agricultural technology system was formed. Agricultural development for thousands of years both created a splendid civilization, but also accumulated a lot of environmental problems.... [tags: environment, natural ecosystem]
1297 words (3.7 pages)
- In Ecology and Religion, John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker present a thorough overview of their studies on religious ecology and environment. They devoted themselves in field of religion and ecology, and committed to advocate the importance of including religious worldviews as a component of solving environment crisis that human beings are facing now. With their rich experiences in academic research and corporation with multiple professionals, they are showing the development of various traditions over time in different geographic contexts, and how it will affect the relationship between human and the nature.... [tags: Religion, Human, Morality, Natural environment]
717 words (2 pages)
- Industrialization Effects on Working Conditions Europe’s industrial advancements emphasized on production rather than the treatment of industrial workers. This included intolerable hours, poor working conditions, and living conditions for families (The Social Question in Coffin et.al, 465). The intolerable conditions of industrialization in the 19th century was referred to as the social question, which pertained to socialist thinkers. Thinkers of the industrial revolution, Robert Owen and Flora Tristan realized the problems of industrial advancement and argued a solution to address them.... [tags: Family, Industrial Revolution, Socialism]
1562 words (4.5 pages)
- The Relationship Between Humans and the Environment
- Human Impact on the Environment
- The Relation of Early Humans to Their Environment
- Evaluating Our Responsibility to Future Generations
- Pre-Agricultural Human Environmental Impact
- The Controversial Relationship between Early Humans and their Environment