Without a doubt, human beings have registered a profound effect on this planet, particularly over the past four centuries or so. An environmental history timeline shows compelling evidence of how our inventions, population growth and changing lifestyles have led to modifications in the appearance of our land and the cleanliness of our air and water that cannot be denied.
A careful review of this environmental history timeline also will lead you to another revealing discovery. Concern about preserving the beauty and health of our planet was not something that started just three or four decades ago. In fact, as long ago as in 1872, public officials understood how precious our natural resources are. In order to protect them as well as to give Americans a place and an opportunity to experience them for themselves, Yellowstone national park was created, starting a world-wide trend.
With innovations such as the automobile and pesticides for farming came many changes to the ways people ate, traveled and lived. Over the centuries, the world’s population ballooned when food became more universally available and more effective medications were developed that prolonged the quality and duration of life. Over these years, it started to become clear that the numerous benefits of human innovation were coming at a terrible cost to the planet.
By the time 1970 rolled around, it was clear that action needed to be taken. In that year alone, the Environmental Protection Agency was created, The Clean Air Act was passed, and environmental activists celebrated the first Earth Day. Since then, the focus on developing earth-friendly foods, energy sources and consumer products continues unabated.
Nearly five decades later, much work still needs to be done. From single individuals to giant corporations and governments, all of this planet’s stakeholders should act, with a mutual commitment to protecting and preserving our air, water and earth. Only by doing so can we hope to have a stable future for our children and the generations to come.