Perhaps the most destructive invention to the environment was not an invention per say, it was an idea or concept, it was the Agricultural Revolution. Around 10,000 years ago, our ancestors first learned how to cultivate crops and domesticate animals, no longer needing to forage or follow food. This mean that humans were no longer in bondage to the land, they could exploit it as they saw fit. Hunter/gatherer lifestyles have a minimal impact on the environment because populations can never reach destructive numbers as they are at the mercy of the food cycles. Agriculture allowed man to stay in one place and wonder about everything other than his next meal. This is what began every environmental problem, the view that we are removed from nature and some how above it because we have mastered just a fragment of its complexities.
A specific invention that has harmed the environment because of it’s widespread use and the difficulty in containing or eliminating the pollution it creates is the Internal Combustion Engine… This baby pretty much made the industrial revolution take off…. and we’ve been consuming fossil fuels (and releasing formerly locked up Carbon into the atmosphere) at an alarming rate ever since this thing became mass produced and distributed and used by the populace.
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