What is the Impact of Industrialization on the Environment?
Since the ages of industrial and technological revolutions, economic growth has been regarded as the major fundamental of the world’s growth. Industrial growth has started to affect the entire environment with its severe downside problems. The formation of massive pollution making industries are the result of the constant need and greed of the human being. These industries include, transportation and manufacturing, which are exhausting the earth’s resources, but also causing tremendous stress on the environment and the ecological system. The productiveness of industries generally depends on the natural resources available. The impact of industrialization on the environment has led the way with certain positive and large negative outcomes, with progressive rates and inventions. There are quite a number of resourceful natural elements like, water, air, soil and fisheries, which are considered to be positive and fertile assets. The pollution of water, soil and air, are defined as the by-product of economical development in industry and city life. Global warming and greenhouse effects are the result, which is a massive impact of industrialization on the environment. The degradation of the entire environment and ecological system, is inclined to become permanent and tends to cause several negative effects on the economy, by causing human losses, ill health of the employees at large costs to governments, manufacturing and society.
Constant air and water pollution are affecting the quality of human lives with its harmful pollutants. The rapid growth of industries are leaving harmful effects on the human life, by polluting water and air. The air and water pollution are, thus, the main problems in the environment. The establishment of more industries increase the major difficulties of degrading the water and soil.
The impact of industrialization on the environment needs to be emphasized with more intensity and feeling as the world is quietly but surely facing destruction from man-made follies. For example, did you know that in three Pennsylvania river basins, there is a growing population of mutated fish? Male fish have female parts and vice versa, open sores, and unusual blotches on their bodies and it doesn’t make national news. This is because extreme animal mutations, tons of dead birds, farm animals, and fishes have become a common occurrence around the world in the past 5 years. It’s no longer headlines news because it’s become “commonplace.”
Before you assume that these events are caused by prophetic stories from way back in history, there is a more logical reason: unhampered or merciless industrialization.
Estrogenic Compounds: Mankind’s Friend, Environment’s Foe
Scientists have traced the cause of mutation in fish to be from estrogenic compounds in the water. While there are natural estrogenic compounds found in soy, urine, and manure most come from synthetic sources like chemicals, birth control pills, BPA plastics, and pesticides – all of which come from the efforts and successes of industrialized farming. They end up in waterways and rivers because of farm irrigation. More alarming is that exposure to estrogenic compounds is not limited to the fish in the rivers of Pennsylvania. They are seen everywhere including big cities and provincial towns. For example, in an effort to ease menstrual cramps and prevent premature labor, a synthetic drug commonly referred to as DES was developed which eventually led to cervical and breast cancer. It was also used on cattle right before slaughter to fatten them and researchers believed it is a significant factor in the spike in cancer patients and low male sperm production.
Whatever consumers are putting in the land will eventually end up in the water not just because of natural flow of water but because of increased flooding, erosion, and human sewage. Scientists estimate that 90% of estrogenic compounds come from industrialized farming not because farmers are using chemicals in animal feeds but from herbicides, pesticides, and the urine and waste of livestock. On the other hand, human waste from the cities can end up in the waterways that will flow out into rivers and seas. The bottom line is: the waste has to go somewhere and most likely into the land or into the waters.
The Great Barrier Reef: Progress and Higher Tax Collection?
Halfway across the world is the Great Barrier Reef and due to the impact of industrialization on the environment, it is slowly falling into a sad state because over half of the coral reef is gone. Initially, the cause was natural forces but now even the protected areas are being threatened because of industrialization. For instance there are plans for the port to be expanded to facilitate coal mining activities. The Australian Federal Government approved the Abbot Point coal port expansion which involves dumping 3 million square meters of waste and dredge spoils into the reef waters. After a massive campaign to stop the plan, changes were made but only with regards to where the dredge spoils would be dumped. The expansion of the coal port will proceed.
Unfortunately the second option as a dumping site is the Caley Valley Wetlands which is the natural habitat of the shorebird. It is also a breeding ground for fish and a filter for the water that runs into the Great Barrier Reef. This means the dredge spoils sediments will eventually make it way to the Great Barrier Reef not to mention that by dumping this amount of spoils, the wetlands will flood and increase the amount of greenhouse gases.
According to the CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Don Henry, coal ships will increase in the area from 1,700 to more than 10,000. It’s progress, yes but with it comes oil spills, potential for collision, increased marine pests, damage of reefs by anchors, groundings, and chemical spills. Marine life is going to be severely challenged. However, the new coal port, when finished, will create thousands of new jobs and increase tax collection by as much as $22 billion. For these reasons – a.k.a. progress and industrialization – Greenpeace has been described as being “hysterical.”
Around the world, these 2 scenarios are duplicated as proponents of growth and development battle with environmentalists on how to find the middle ground and lessen the impact of industrialization on the environment. The debate and fight will never end because for earth-friendly advocates, there is no middle ground. The environment must be protected.