The Industrial Revolution and Its Impact on Our Environment

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Industrialization began in the 1700s in Great Britain. Since that time, a variety of environmental problems have been documented throughout the world. Both developed and developing nations are now attempting to implement a variety of solutions in order to preserve Earth’s delicate environment. In the 200 years since the Industrial Revolution began, the environment has been significantly altered as more nations industrialize and increase their manufacturing capacity to meet consumer demands. For example in 1997 according to World Watch, carbon dioxide emissions in developed nations reached three tons per person, while developing nations produced half a ton per person (Document 2). These emissions can produce smog in concentrated areas, such as Mexico City, one of the most polluted cities in the world. Carbon dioxide can also form acid rain which can affect areas far removed from the source of the pollution. For example, pollution from areas of the United States has been carried into southeastern Canada causing acid rain which is detrimental to ecosystems and drinking water. Carbon dioxide has also been linked to global warming which can affect global weather patterns. Again, polluting nations can have an effect on other nations as shown in the political cartoon labeled “Nature’s Equation” which illustrates that the devestation caused by Hurricane Mitch can be attributed to global warming, most likely caused by nations other than Honduras (Document 4). The modern development of nuclear energy has also had an impact on the environment. In the 1980s, a Soviet nuclear power-generating facility in Chernobyl had a meltdown. The prevailing winds swept the nuclear fallout across all of western Europe causing great concern for the health of the people in those nations. The nations and corporations of the world have recognized the detrimental effects of pollution caused by industrialization, and are taking steps to address it. According to newspaper...
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