INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: WHAT ABOUT FUTURE GENERATIONS?

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.

 

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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

Destroying our most precious treasure.

During the Industrial Revolution, there was a huge exploitation of natural and human resources. With all the technological advances the pollution started to affect the environment and the people’s quality of life. One of the resources that was most affected was water. Since the Industrial Revolution spread all around the world, this non sustainable mentality has been growing in our society. Unfortunately Mexico is a country in process of development and although some European countries have taken measures for reducing their impact in the environment, Mexico has a long way to go.

 Image Regarding water pollution, there are plenty of places that are severally damaged in Mexico. I have my own experience visiting someplaces that made me reflect about this topic. Three years ago my family and I went to Chiapas on summer vacations. Wewere very excited because this state is well known because of its natural wonders and diversity. We visited the “Chiflon” waterfalls and the canyon of “El Sumidero”. Words can not describe how beautiful and majestic these places are. Unfortunately instead of being cared for as the wonders they are, the first thing we noticed was that people were able to cook and make fireplaces next to the waterfall. The canyon that the government built for protecting natural wildlife and flora, known as the Natural Reserve, was abandoned and all you could see in the shore was trash.  On our way home we stopped in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz and we couldn’t get to the sea because all along the coast the water was polluted with residual pollutants.

According to the statistics nowadays we generate 6.7 billion cubic meters of residual water annually. It is expected that this quantity will increase to 9.2 billion by 2030. For having a proper infrastructure to treat residual water; the government must invest 114 million pesos before 2030. Of course this is not an easy target. If we want to achieve this goal and improve our water conditions we have to reinforce the legal system and enforce the law strictly on those who pollute our environment.

Mexican society has not fully visualized the huge problem that comes from polluting water. The lack of respect to the environment and other ways of life only will take us to our own destruction. We must stop behaving like we are the only ones on this planet and that natural resources will be always available. Saving water today and treating our residual waters could save us tomorrow. As Lord Baden Powell says in his scout decalogue “leave this world better than how you found it”.

 

By Montserrat Arellano

Mexico City’s desperate environmental measures discriminate against the population

It’s always interesting to think about the perception people used to have about the environment.

Before, people would usually think that they could use whatever they wanted whenever they needed something, regarding nature’s resources, because there was plenty of it for our use. But in the last few decades we have seen that whatever it was that seemed a lot now is in short supply. We can see nowadays that several measures have been undertaken in order to solve two major contemporary problems that are: air pollution and water supply.

Regarding air pollution, the Mexican government has decided to apply a “No Circula” rule. This means that if your car is not in a fit state, or if it has a certain “age”, so to speak, you are not allowed to drive it on certain days during the week. This is one of the examples that the amount of clean air is constantly reducing and now a regulation has to be imposed so that the air isn’t polluted so heavily, however I think that even though it is a good measure, the amount of unpolluted air will be constantly growing.

 

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It’s important to mention that the water supply in several areas of the city has to be cut because the amount of clean water that we could use is no longer available as freely, and so the government must manage and distribute a reduced amount of clean water that is available for most of the people.

The funny thing is that in Mexico inequalities are everywhere, including water supply. Whilst areas like Iztapalapa have water shortages, other areas like Polanco do not suffer that much because they have more resources to afford clean and sufficient quantities of water.

Also people who are not able to afford to buy a new car that is able to be driven every day or can’t take it to be verified, must modify their whole way of living. Their methods of transportation are limited, which is something that does not happen with people who can afford to have a new car every 2 or 3 years.

To conclude, I believe that humans will only be truly concerned about the water and air pollution when our options are reduced to none. Why? Because wealthy people are still not concerned or worried about water when people who struggle everyday even for a cold shower will no longer have the opportunity to do so. Yes, I know that measures have been taken in order to provide equal opportunities to clean air and water, but in my opinion, we still have to employ stronger measures and sacrifices. 

 

By Jorge Mayorga

CONSCIENCE FOR A LONG LIFE

Mexico PollutionWater and air pollution has always existed, but since the industrial revolution in England in the late seventeenth century it became a critical issue affecting the health and quality of life of many citizens, which not only affected England, but spread worldwide to America in the late nineteenth century.

During the decade of the sixties in Mexico the water and air pollution led to a poor quality of life, due to the very bad quality of air in the Valley of Mexico, and the diminishing quantity of aquifers due to pollution of rivers. The underground reserves of aquifers have been utilized and the Valley of Mexico has been sinking up to 30 centimeters per year due to the pollution coming from factories, which results in pollutants being dispersed in the seas and rivers, and also this has caused rivers to be dried out.

The air pollution in Mexico is mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels, especially coal. The growth of cities, which has brought an increase of cars and intense industrial activities, has also led to water pollution due to chemical and petroleum waste in rivers and seas, agricultural and livestock waste and domestic waste. These cause sewage, which most frequently affects rivers, whilst mismanagement in wastewater treatment has caused a decrease in water availability in Mexico, placing Mexico in eighty-first place in water availability in the world.

In my opinion Mexico has been affected by unregulated industries and government mismanagement, due to the lack of a plan of action. I mean to say that pollutant emissions generated by factories were not controlled until the contamination became a problem and that the residual waste system, which is poorly planned, has contaminated most of the springs and rivers that supplied both towns as well as cities.

For example, in 1961 in the state of Hidalgo, specifically the village of Huejutla Hidalgo, the main river called el río Tecoluco disappeared. This was because the government gradually turned the river into a wastewater channel, a very sad fact because it was the main river serving the community.

Regarding the air pollution issue, the writer Alfonso Reyes wrote “traveler, you’ve come to the Air Is Clear” referring to the time when Cortes arrived to Tenochtitlan. Until about 50 years ago, air quality in Mexico was good, but the increased use of automobiles and industries has decreased the air quality so much so that there are days when it seems that there is fog in the city, although actually it is pollution. Due to this and the many environmental contingencies, the government has implemented different means of ecological transportation for the masses of the population. This has the purpose of reducing the pollutants emitted to the atmosphere. For example, the Mexico City metro carries approximately 5 million users each day, the metrobus system carries around 450,000 users daily, whilst more recently the use of bicycles in the Federal District has been added to help create a culture of awareness amongst the citizens of the city.