Does industrialization mean progress or does it mean threat? Well, it depends on the side of the coin you see because after the first process of industrialization in Europe, the world suffered many diverse changes. It started in Great Britain with the invention of different artifacts together with the development of technological advances and new processes that enhanced mass production; issues that fostered the spread of capitalism in the form of imperialism across the globe. The idea that was developed during this process, together with some of the ideas of the enlightenment, was that of progress, conjointly with the growth of economical and political power. Following the aforementioned statement, the ecological damages were not perceived to have a marked impact at the time, but we have as an example the exponential growth of the population of Europe and the urbanization that, although it made certain nations centralized, this centralization expanded and reached the villages and thus the environmental catastrophes reached new levels. For example, air pollution increased due to the constant factory production, and with that different gases were emitted to the environment, killing lots of species due to the dense layer of pollutants and increasing deaths due to respiratory issues. As well, water pollution was a common issue during that time because the disposal of materials lacked knowledge of environment consequences, urbanization polluted or even dried some lakes and rivers, and since there was not an established drainage system, the people used these lakes to wash themselves and as a result, cholera cases escalated quickly due to the missuses of water. Finally, sound pollution started due to the constant factory turmoil and with that some workers lost their hearing.
Industry represents a key element in the development of Mexico, such that, today it represents 80% of the GDP and the most recent example is that of the energetic reform. PEMEX is the petroleum corporation monopolized by the Mexican government after the president Lázaro Cárdenas took over the oil of Mexican territory. The current president has proposed an initiative that says that private enterprises are going to support Mexico with different types of advanced technology and certain machinery to establish the bases of extraction in ultra deep water. These private companies would give the petroleum to the government, and then the government would sell it back to them. This industrialization carries political and economical benefits but also disadvantages such as the turmoil related to the leftist and rightist parties together with the argument of the violation of Mexican sovereignty. It does also, however, carry some type of legitimization for the current presidency, this means that the president, by the promotion and the acceptation of this reform, is going to legitimize his government that has been marked as corrupt, conservative, and illegal due to the past elections. The way in which he is trying to legitimize the government is through improved performance regarding efficiency, since the government´s plan is to decrease the prices of oil and in some way show that his government is working. The expected economic benefits are the decrease of prices of natural gas and gasoline, but now there are complications due to corruption inside of PEMEX and its syndicate. Now is it a threat or a benefit? Economically, it is a benefit but we cannot know in the case of the environmental issues because the management of the enterprise may carry oil spills that represent a major threat to the environment. In fact the current administration of PEMEX has already had certain oil spills in Coatzacoalcos and other parts of Veracruz that have already left hundreds and even thousands of families without any type of sustenance due to their dependence on fishing. One of the enterprises that wants to take over the new oil industry in Mexico is British Petroleum that has already a black history in the Gulf of Mexico due to its incorrect management. The environmental damages of those spills are still present today in the Gulf of Mexico and the greatest issue that we face with this new industrial wave is that the Mexican government does not have the sufficient power to face any type of potential spill, which would worsen an environmental situation that is still not completely under control. In cases similar to the one of British Petroleum, Exxon and other oil companies have caused irreparable damages to the population, including deaths but also the annihilation of their only way to get an income and henceforth, their future.
By Guillermo Tamayo Romero