The dawn of the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain on the second half of the XXVIII century brought the biggest economical, technological and social changes in human history since the Neolithic age.
The increase in urban population in cities with medieval layout meant overcrowding, unsanitary conditions and the appearance of the first social pathologies: alcoholism, prostitution and crime, from 800 million inhabitants 250 years ago we increased to almost ten fold today.
That huge population expansion with virtually no control, has produced enormous changes in the ecosystems on earth, disturbances that Nature effectively could regulate before through natural processes of transformation and degradation, now were no longer possible because there were millions of new substances for which she has no natural processes of transformation, on the other hand the amount of waste produced by the man is so big that it constantly accumulates as environmental pollution.
Man can NEVER understand completely Nature, had to split it in a myriad of small fields trying to explain how it works and in the end many of these fields, known as Sciences, can not be paged together.
On the last decades, pressed by some tragic consequences appearing on the environment, man has invented the term “environmentally friendly” as an umbrella masking many of the commercial activities leading to pollution, putting in the data base sheet many chemical limits lower that the previous ones but never what –on my opinion as a Chemist- can be called friendly with the environment, first because man do not fully undestand how the environment works and second because none of those limits are near to what they are in Nature.
Lets face it, lets be honest, scientist are hired by private companies to “test and establish limits of chemicals of human waste products (of any kind), the governmente hire another group of acientists to prove it and once the bill is established, companies are free to exploit the resources legally. It happens in almost all kinds of human enterprises, mining, manufacturing, food industry, water recycling, building industry, fisheries, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, the list is limitless.
I do not want to introduce any discussion about corruption, either in Science, Government or private companies, that factor, absolutely stuck in Homo sapiens genes, can be a matter of another discussion.