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Industrialization vs biodiversity

Industrialization vs biodiversity

By Andrés R. Rodriguez

Industrial or developed society is conceived as a result of industrialization. In Nordic Europe, this complex process began in the 18th and 19th centuries and, in parallel, or later, took root in the United States and Japan. At present it occurs with greater or lesser intensity in almost all countries, and is considered the central factor of economic growth and the (almost unique) formula to overcome underdevelopment. However, development is economic diversification.

On its negative side, industrialization is sometimes cited as the fundamental factor in the reduction of biodiversity, environmental degradation and the generator of the ecological crisis, but this is not exact. The deterioration of the environment in this case is a consequence of the fact that cultural capital does not rest in fair proportion on ecological capital. In other words, that society does not become a knowledge society.

When the culture is either weak or contradictory (asymemic), there are no regulating factors of production flows and each individual (each one with great technological power) acts as a factor that alters ancestral balances. For this reason, large proportions of waste are generated, even greater than those of products. Industry (and industrialization) has been characterized by enormous inefficiency, since from all the transfer of raw material it obtains an extraordinarily low useful mass. Some authors mention about 1.45 Tm of waste for every 45 kg of manufactured products; In the extraction of copper, each resulting Tm implies 775 Tm of waste, and in that of tin, the ratio is 1: 10.450. This has not prevented many from pretending that development is fundamentally construction of heavy industry (metallurgy, machine building, chemical, petrochemical, energy) and that, being the key sector of the economy, reorganize the other sectors (light industry: textile footwear , artisanal; and extractive industry: agriculture, fishing, forestry, mining).

For its part, biodiversity or biological diversity is the variety or great abundance of living beings on the planet or a sector of the biosphere, the result of ecological succession and, in a longer range, of Evolution. It usually includes thousands or millions of species, individuals and their genes, as well as the intricate structure that forms every ecosystem and other forms of grouping of living beings (community, population). It is a word in wide use today, actually a particular case of diversity, not very clearly distinguishable. The biodiversity or diversity of living things tends to increase faster (in a geological sense) than the diversity of the universe (types of atoms, minerals in a planet, types of soils, galaxies) and is a value that nature accumulates as ecological capital . On planet Earth, biodiversity is maximized towards the equatorial zone.

From the Industrial Revolution, whose beginning confusingly is located around 1750, industry is the sector of the economy of a country that is dedicated to industrial production. In turn, it is the site or place where certain technology is applied in the mass production of production and consumer goods and the transformation of a raw material into a product, into a consumer good, is carried out, in which case it is equivalent to a factory.

It is conceived that the industrial sector is opposed to the extractive (agriculture, fishing, mining, mariculture, hunting) and surpasses the manufacturing sector. As for this contrast, it is another of the wrong mental schemes with which the human being has worked, since the industrial phase cannot exist without the previous extractive phase, and this in turn is the preamble of the automated, so they are steps of the same process. And when it comes to overcoming the manufacturing level, it is also wrong that machining, automation and not even current computerization, eliminate all types of manufacturing. That this is relegated to the background, it is true, but it coexists and is the basis. It is in the way that Evolution always operates, sometimes giving a more preponderant role to the participants (the species, the specimens), but it is not about their exclusion until extinction. Nature always agrees and seeks diversity, what it is about is that some and other species and individuals go from central to peripheral roles, as Ecological Succession occurs and, at a longer distance, Evolution.

In short, industrialization has attacked diversity, and all of us have unconsciously, passively and opportunistically attended this murder. It remains to be seen if the Knowledge Society, and the cough that the biosphere already shows, can support and endorse this injustice and waste. Or we tame this wild colt that is now Industry.

Neo Club Press


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