Two preliminary considerations:
If we put these two issues together it is apparent that human beings, due both to their increasing numbers and also their increasing demands, seem destined over time to exert more and more aggressive pressure on the environment.
This is exactly what we mean by the "dirty face" of development. If mankind were able to learn from his mistakes, then emerging countries would set off down "clean paths" of development, without repeating the questionable behaviour, in terms of damage to the environment, of rich countries in the last fifty years. Unfortunately, virtuous behaviour is also the most expensive; today, the main goal for three billion Indian and Chinese people is to speed up their economic development as much as possible without losing time and money addressing environmental and health issues. Adopting industrialisation as the quickest route to rapid economic development brings with it the large-scale importation of technologies, often obsolete and dirty, from more developed countries.
Evidence of the price our planet pays for development is provided in the following pictures. This development is incapable of limiting the deterioration of the quality of the air, emitting particulate matter, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides caused to a large extent by combustion processes.
21st century man, Homo faber, or better Homo technologicus (man who uses ), is affected by a feeling of omnipotence due to the extraordinary power of technology, which allows him to solve extremely complex (albeit temporary and marginal) problems. However, he is still lacking in foresight when confronting problems such as pollution, whose long term effects are deferred in space and time, both on a local and global scale.
The Webweavers: Last modified Tue, 20 Jul 2005 10:00:51 GMT