Could the Industrial Revolution be a reason for the environmental problems we are experiencing nowadays?

The Industrial Revolution had important consequences throughout the world.  There was an increase in production, transportation become more efficient, whilst ecological problems also occurred. The Industrial Revolution introduced the process of production using machines and tools driven by new energy sources produced from solid fuels, this in turn led to their consumption increasing. The effects of the combustion of these products gradually began to exert their effects on the biosphere. Furthermore we must understand the effects of “urban phenomenon”, these led to damage to natural systems and increasing environmental pollution, derived from forms of energy that heavily polluted the environment to which human society is subject.

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Situations such as erosion, desertification, deforestation and loss of biodiversity are intimately linked with ecological problems and are the result of several factors that have to do with how we have handled renewable natural resources and natural factors. Also one of the most important problems nowadays is overpopulation. During the past 60 years, the population in Mexico has grown five times. In 1950 there were 25.8 million people, in 2010 it was 112 300 000.

I want to emphasize this problem because this is linked with the seven environmental problems we face in 2013. Overpopulation inhibits equitable distribution of food and water and nobody wants to talk about resource depletion. Mexico has grown significantly in recent years and this has brought consequences: there is not enough space for people to live and this causes deforestation. Our woods and fields are no longer used for agriculture and this also affects biodiversity. We might have enough space to live but what about our food and water which are our main resource to live? Also there is another problem in Mexico which affects our country: water scarcity. This environmental problem affects more people than any other and is considered one of the most serious, because without water, we would simply all die.

As a conclusion, thanks to this research about the main problems in our country I notice that all of them are linked and if we confront one we can counter all the rest.

 

By Valeria Conde

An eternal fight against pollution

The industrial revolution was a social and economic change that happened between the XVIII and XIX centuries, mostly in Great Britain and later it expanded all throughout Europe. This revolution impacted manufacturing processes by the introduction of the steam engine and mass production in factories.

 

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Although this revolution had a huge impact on the creation of wealth amongst western societies, there was a cost which had to be paid in order to use the steam machine. The most common fuel for this process was coal. When coal burned it would release a lot of energy that boiled water and then with the steam it moved a series of mechanisms that would power up the machine, since coal is fossilized carbon, and after combustion it would release huge amounts of CO2 ( carbon dioxide ) into the air.

The environmental repercussions of coal burning didn’t take long to be noticed, the combination of the smoke from the factories and the fog created heavy thick black clouds called smog that started causing respiratory problems and even led to deaths, whilst contaminated water from machines and factories was dumped into rivers, contaminating the water and provoking diseases such as cholera.

Nowadays we live under heavy health protocols that are enforced onto the factories by the government in order to preserve the environment stability and the health of the citizens, but not only factories are being accounted nowadays for the pollution that is created in big cities, the use of the automobile also plays a major role in the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere.

 Mexico City, one of the biggest urban areas in the world and formally a very heavily polluted city, has been taking steps in order to improve the emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere with social programs such as Vehicular verification, Eco-Transport, like Metrobus, and the implementation of the Ecobici, a system of bicycle rentals for transportation around the centre of the city. These programs and more have led to Mexico City being awarded recognition from the C40 group for air quality.

Once a city whose pollution was apparently without solution has now, thanks to the implementation of well designed long term policies, emerged as an aspiring environmental modern city that keeps on working to improve itself day by day.

 By Iván Aragón 

Water pollution, a problem that involves everyone.

Let’s start with some facts. In 1975 there were 32 polluted aquifers, 10 years later were 80 and by 2010 the number increased to 105.

This is a big problem in Mexico, because these polluted aquifers caused the deaths of 1277 children in 2010, due to polluted water provoking deadly intestinal infections.

Most of these aquifers are rivers that are polluted with industrial and dangerous waste.

All of this polluted water travels to the seas, and obviously it becomes polluted with all of these awful wastes. In 2009, around 338 beaches were monitored and 99% of them had unacceptable pollution levels.

In my opinion this is a big bad problem, because as time passes these aquifers are getting more and more polluted and the problem increases.         When are we going to attack this problem? Until our beaches are very polluted and we are unable swim or even enter the water?

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But the solution is not entirely in the hands of the authorities. They can make changes, however the real change must be amongst the minds of the people and our culture of waste disposal. I don’t know why Mexican people are so careless with their own environment, with the place in which we live. People don’t seem to care when they throw garbage on the floor and they trigger floods, but they care when the floods cause damage to their homes, and they claim the problem is provoked by our government.

People need to start thinking first about their actions, that they themselves are causing all of these troubles. People don’t care about their pollution of rivers, they are happy to throw garbage without thinking about all of the problems they are causing. They only think about their own satisfaction because they are lazy, they don’t want to take the garbage to a correct place.

This is a big problem, and I believe it needs to be attacked with our own actions. We must stop thinking only about ourselves and think more about the problems that we are causing with our own, inconsiderate actions.