The Industrial Revolution, which began in the eighteenth century, has had an ongoing influence on society as well as the relationship between humans and their environment. With the onset of industrialization came the drastic increase in urbanization, setting up of factories in places which were once biomes, and the rapid development of land. All this occurred without assessing the long-term impact to the environment. Recognizing the importance of the Industrial Revolution era and the ongoing impact it has had on the environment is essential to learning how to help the environment and correct the damage of that era.
• Identify three of the most environmentally negative impacts of the Industrial Revolution and justify your choices. For example, the invention of the automobile revolutionized travel in a positive manner. However, this invention is causing some of the biggest environmental problems as a result of the extensive use of oil extracted from the earth.
• Examine how these three negative impacts changed the environment; list the mechanisms through which this happened. For example, factories caused an increase in pollution through the release of toxic waste, which led to diminished and lost fish populations in rivers.
• Explain the effect of the environmental movement on the process of industrialization in the United States during the 1970s.
• Identify the laws passed to help ameliorate the environmental issues in the U.S. or around the world related to these three impacts. Have any laws been passed since this movement in the 1970s? If there have been laws implemented, summarize the spirit of the law and comment on the effectiveness of the law.
Based on your research, examine whether the state of the environment has become worse or has improved as a result of these laws. If you think conditions have not improved, suggest solutions or steps that must be done to improve the situation.