The Industrial Revolution was a period of fundamental changes in agriculture, textile manufacture, transportation, economic policies and social structure. These occurred mainly in England. The use of machinery and factories led to mass production, which gave solutions to certain problems that the society had to face because of the population growth, but also in turn it led to the development of numerous environmental difficulties.
The way in which people used to perceive environmental problems in the 18th and 19th centuries was completely different to the way in which it is seen nowadays. Back then, there was no need to care about the environment, which in my consideration, might have been a huge mistake because of the consequences that we face now thanks to the unconcern of those facts. One of the most significant impacts that the industrial revolution caused was environmental, a lot of trees had to be cut down in order to construct factories and for machinery. Consequentially, trees could not emit oxygen, whilst the quality of air was heavily affected by the pollution that factories produced, which is why global warming and the problem of CO2 emissions occurred. Water pollution is also concerned with the rise of machinery during the industrial revolution. Chemicals were developed and therefore more pollution was emitted to the air, water and soil thanks to the waste that factories produced. Population growth hasn’t stopped since then. Nowadays we have reached greater levels of productivity, but the problem is that there are no resources to produce what needs to be produced. Conditions are not optimal to generate what the population needs, whilst health problems are more severe because of the pollution from climate change, yet, these aren’t the only consequences that the industrial revolution brought. Sustainable development also includes social responsibility. Regarding this aspect, we have repercussions from televisions or cell phones which have made people’s lives more sedentary, provoking health problems like addictions, or vision difficulties. Even obesity is related to the development of new technologies because of the massive production of food, people have begun to consume more, causing an imbalance in society’s lifestyle. It is important to be concerned about our actions as we are part of a society in constant change, and every change brings with it a consequence, so what needs to be done is to think about implementing preventive measures in order to let future generations take advantage as much as possible of the resources that can still be utilized.
By Patricia Cruz Flores