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Environmental Studies
ENVS 1000
Rebecca Jubis

Environmental History IV The Crisis of ModernReading notes One could characterize the modern world in the phrase the explosion of humankind on an unparalleled scale thBeginning in the 18 century the arrival of the Industrial Revolution and the possibility of decreased rates of natural death due to greater security of food public health beginning and the better understanding of disease all created the population to grow immensely At the same time technology innovation creates the opportunity for humans to use energy and natural resources to unparalleled levelsArrival of oil economy transportation of people natural goods and products easier and faster nowGerman writer Ulrich Beck has described the modern world as a risk society a society in the midst of a massive gamble with the future of the Earth and of humanityThe gamble is can economic growth and development generate the resources which enable us to protect the planet from our impactsWarming of the Earth climate change is one example of the risks we are taking Human beings are now able to affect global physical systems Social and political struggles against the worst excesses of the Industrial Revolution in the conditions of work and the struggles to determine who would be in control of the new powers and wealth emerged shortly after the Industrial RevolutionThe three most important forces other than the industries themselves 1 the emerging mass populations 2 the emerging middle class of entrepreneurs and speculators on the new society and 3 governmentForce 3 Government when Industrial Revolution emerged the governments most tyrannical were not well organized unable to cope with the demands of increased populations with increased demands Their powers were undermined by the growth in beliefs of human rights and the increasing focus on the individual as a counterweight to the emerging mass mob Government legitimacy kings nobility priests were erodedAs a result there were a series of revolutions the first of which was the American Revolution 1776 French Revolution 1789 and then into ththe 20 century The Russian Revolution 1917 so on These may have begun with the language of liberty and freedom the results of the revolutions were new governments were created that developed ways on managing more people through bureaucracies Idea of bureaucracies is to look for the greatest good for the greatest number and implement it involves gathering information about peoples need generating stats and influencing public policyBureaucracies were designed to be equal and neutral for everyone Force 2 The Emerging middle class the bourgeoisie urban class of people with no fixed roots and earned their salaries in management of industries or in government or in investments in companies They became the main power in the modern world Force 1 The Mass of the Population irony that the Industrial revolution which brought people from villages and towns to be concentrated in factories also brought an opportunity for them to meet and organize Guilds and trade organizations grew in size and became trade unions whose role was to struggle with the owners of the enterprises for various rights shorter work hours restrictions on the use of child labor environmental protection etc their weapon was the organized withdrawal of services or the strike Another element of the modern world related to management of large numbers of people is the large scaling of war Beginning with Napoleon the idea of the mass army emerged Mobilization for war main cause of growth of bureaucracy and the increasing interference of the state in ordinary peoples lives Increasing fire power and size of conflicts symbolized by First World War 19141918 Technologies such as chemical warfare machine guns and tanks huge losses of men and the helplessness of people provided intelligent people with the
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