Humans have dominated the planet for a relatively short amount of time, having reached behavioral modernity just 50,000 years ago. Written language is thought to have emerged a mere 5,000 years ago. The printing press advanced our ability to dispense important and often life saving information by many orders of magnitude, but this happened just a few hundred years ago.
The industrial revolution marked a rapid growth of fossil fuel dependent technologies and endeavors. It began in the 18th century and forever changed mankind and the planet at large. In many ways it’s been a change for the better: human health, wealth, and quality of life have dramatically improved all over the planet because of the industrial revolution. But, it has also created an unsustainably consumptive global society resulting in pollution and loss of pristine habitats and invaluable ecosystems, and is dependent on the exploitation of the planet's limited natural resources.
In the past two decades, reliable scientific evidence reveals that these outcomes of industrialization are contributing to global climate change. However, it is in our power to slow, stop, and even reverse these patterns. We can reduce our energy consumption, recycle our waste products, and demand ethical practices from the corporations that make the products we use.