when cavemen did it
Pollution has been around since humans first began settling. High volumes of soot on prehistoric cave sites show evidence of pollution in unventilated cave dwellings. Pollution evolved once civilization began forging metals. Ice core samples from the beginning of the metal forging period shows increased amount of air pollution. Finally, pollution as we know it today can be attributed to the Industrial Revolution which saw massive amount of air and water pollutants resulting from heavy manufacturing development.
Pollution probably began somewhere around the time that humans learned how to make fire. In fact, the first evidence of pollution is soot found on the ceilings of caves used by our prehistoric ancestors, and it has only gotten worse from there. Along with that nasty human tendency to leave our trash laying around, metal forging was another early source of pollution throughout the world.
In the grand scheme of things, though, these instances of pollution are relatively minor, and truly detrimental pollution could be said to have begun with the onset of the industrial revolution in the 19th century. It was at this point that humans began pouring massive amounts of dangerous manufacturing biproducts into the air and water sources near factories. This damaging behavior continued well into the 20th century, and was aided by the introduction of extremely toxic and non-biodegradable synthetic materials, such as plastics and inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, as well as the ever-increasing popularity of petrolium-based transportation that continues to this day.
I agree that human pollution most likely began when we started making things with fire. However, wouldn’t there have been other forms of pollution that occurred naturally without human interferference? An example would be ash from volcanic eruptions. Pollution has always been around, it just became a bigger threat to the planet when humans industrialized in the 19th century.
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