The widespread availability of cheap mechanical power unleashed the industrial revolution, altering the course of human history.
The widespread availability of cheap mechanical power unleashed the industrial revolution, altering the course of human history. Modern civilization began with the industrial revolution and will continue its advance until all nations have the technology and standard of living that defines the modern world.
Global communication and modern transportation systems have changed the geo-economic relationships between nations — modern technology has overcome the great distances and naturally isolated geographical locations that have historically separated the peoples of the world.
19th-century industrialists and political reformers could not have imagined the consequences of the modern world. Globalization of the world economy will give billions of people an opportunity to become modern consumers. Thus, the potential for creating environmental pollution in the 21st century will be many times greater than what occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Cheap mechanical [and electric] power requires cheap energy and the primary source of modern civilization’s cheap energy has been fossil fuels: coal, oil, and natural gas. Fossil fuels produce heat energy when burned, and with the heat energy large amounts of waste, and gases are also produced. When these waste gases are allowed to escape into the atmosphere, our environment becomes polluted.
The Earth’s ecosystems are balanced within natural cycles. The plants and animals that live in the natural world cannot harm the natural balance, because they do not have the tools or ability to create more waste than the Earth’s natural systems can recycle, or safely dispose of.
A few centuries ago human societies were limited to the natural resources of the land without the benefit of advanced technology. Although ancient civilizations developed primitive technology and often indulged in wars and other savage behavior, their primary waste was human sewage and garbage, which, if left in the city streets, only affected the local populations by spreading infectious diseases.
With advances in modern technology and warfare, human societies can no longer behave like animals in the natural world. Modern civilization must use its advanced technology to recycle or safely dispose of man-made waste, or suffer the consequences of poisoning the environment.
The advanced industrial chemicals and by-products created by Modern civilization have become toxic to the natural world. For this reason, modern science must develop technology that mimics natural recycling, or safe disposal of waste and toxins. Advanced technology must recycle or otherwise safely dispose of man-made pollution — and do it better than Nature by completing the recycling or disposal within human time frames of hours, days, or months; not geological timeframes of thousands or millions of years.
Clean Hydrocarbons are the product of technology that mimics, within the human time frames, the Earth’s natural systems for recycling or disposal. Any product or process can be called clean if its manufacture and use do not poison or damage the natural environment.