Industrialization and Modern Technology are a Great Threats to the Environment

Silent Springs

In “Silent Springs”, an environmental book published in 1961, the author Rachel Carson talks about the effect of pesticides and chemicals on the environment, especially on the bird population. In the second chapter of Silent Spring, she addresses the use of pesticides and chemicals alters nature in a negative way. The indiscriminate use of pesticides and chemicals including DDT has a severely negative impact on living organisms on the earth's surface. In the last century, mankind gains supreme power to modify the environment in the name of development meaning industrialization and modern agriculture. In contemporary times nature is not able to adopt the rapid use of pesticides which affect air, rivers, species, animals, plants, and human beings. The various kind of pesticides and chemicals are used on farms, forests, and gardens to kill bad and good insects. These chemicals enter into plants and are finally transformed from plants to the human body and remain till death. These chemicals kill insects along with human beings in a different way. There are some environmentalist who works on the environment to protect this beautiful earth but they do not get support from the government and industrialist because industrialist wants to maximize their profit at any cost of the environment and the government wants a capitalist economy. So here we can see the contradiction between the producers and buyers of the chemical. 

we need some alternative of chemical, used in such a way that maintains balance, otherwise, our future generation is coming to suffer it severely. For instance, climate change is an extreme issue at a contemporary time. People are like to talk about different issues but there is no one to take an initiative. We can feel the effect on climate change in Bangalore, how the temperature increase day by day, season change.

Taming Nature: An Agriculture of Legibility and Simplicity

James C. Scott addresses why a modern, scientific model of agriculture which succeeded in the temperate, industrializing west has been found in Third world countries in her writing 'Taming Nature: An Agriculture of Legibility and Simplicity'. This scientific, modern model of agriculture has been pressed in Africa by colonizers and international institutions which become unsuccessful in that region. The farmers become dependent on management for their survival and it alters the environment in the name of maximum production. This scientific model of agriculture is characterized by the use of pesticides and chemicals, water-intensive crops, use of technology, HYV seeds, monocropping, and capital intensive has come into agriculture without considering historical precedent. In West Africa, the modern, scientific model of agriculture has been unsuccessful due to different geographical and historical reasons. The modern method of agriculture has originated in the temperate zone and brought in a tropical zone, these two zones have different geography. Also, this model does not concern the local soils, local weather, local knowledge, and so on. Indeed, western scientists have ignored the local knowledge regarding agriculture which contributed to the unsuccessful implementation of the modern, scientific mode of agriculture in the Third world. In West Africa, the people practice poly cropping which maintains fertilizers of soil and also preserves soil which is lacking in monocropping that is the modern mode of agriculture. I think the west brought the modern mode of agriculture into the Third world to establish their power and demolish the power of cultivators and communities. So, they can colonize in a different way and take over the control of food production in Third world countries.

I think any project regarding agriculture should be made from the field, not from the laboratory. When agricultural scientists do an experiment in the laboratory, it could be successful because they create an artificial environment but this thing maybe not be successful in a field due to various geographical and physical differences.

In this context, we can link this modern mode of agriculture with the green revolution in India. The green revolution came in the 1960s with the aim of food security. It replaced traditional methods of agriculture and knowledge by providing a modern mode of agriculture that are HYV seeds, use of pesticides, water-intensive crops, and use of machinery. The green revolution has a negative impact on the environment like water crisis and pollution due to the use of pesticides and chemicals.

Technology, Development and the Environment: An Analytical Framework

The author A.K.N. Reddy criticized of modern technology in his paper “Technology, Development and the Environment: An Analytical Framework,”. Over the last 30 years, modern technology emerged rapidly in developed and developing countries. The criticism of modern technology emerged from both developed and developing countries. Here, the author classified criticism of modern technology in three broad categories. Firstly, the author addresses the environment: the increase of modern technology has been altering the environment through pollution and extracting raw materials. This kind of deterioration of nature led to man’s stress and tension, and it also on climate change which is a major issue in today’s world. Non-renewable energy is depleting at a rapid rate to develop modern technology especially petroleum and minerals which is a major threat of ecology. Secondly, the author criticized modern technology from an economic perspective that it creates huge inequality between developed and developing countries and within countries like states. Modern technology is characterized by capital intensive and energy, most of the developed countries have access to develop and control modern countries whereas in developing countries have less access, they provide raw materials to developed countries. In within countries, there are huge inequalities between states: the most privileged state can easily access technology than the underprivileged. Finally, the author criticized modern technology from a social point of view that unprivileged people cannot access the technology due to its social structure and mostly live in the city's slums.

From the above three readings, we can say industrialization and modern technology are a great threats to the environment, which affect on biotic and abiotic components of nature. We need to rethink about our environment, and how to protect it for a better life and forthcoming generation. We need proper planning before developing any modern technology and in such a way that it may have less impact on nature. We need to develop and use alternatives like solar energy, use cow dung, water harvesting, tree plantation, etc. We need be aware about the environment. We need to give emphasis on environmental, social, and political development. So, we can make a better world.


  1. Rachel Carson (1962). Silent Spring. (Excerpts)
  2. James C. Scott (1998). “Taming Nature: An Agriculture of Legibility and Simplicity,”
  3. Seeing Like a State, New Haven: Yale University Press, Pp. 262-286.
  4. A.K.N. Reddy, 1994. (1979) “Technology, Development and the Environment: An
  5. Analytical Framework,” Social Ecology (Ed) Ramachandra Guha, New Delhi: Oxford
07 July 2022
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