NOVEMBER 5, 2018

“For the Sustainable Development Goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you”
(United Nations, 2015, pg.1)
Our environment is composed of natural elements such as land, water, air, animals, plants, and all living things that surround us. But why everybody says we need to take care of it? Why there has been a lot of talk today about pollution issues in the world? We, ourselves, are slowly destroying the only place for living we have. Our natural habitat brings us vital elements we need to survive such as food, water, and oxygen, it´s easy: no environment, no life (Kinhal, 2013).

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There are many different topics talking about environmental issues, such as the pollution impact on land, water, air, or quality of life and all of them have a solution in common: the sustainable living; according to Aguilar and Mercado (2005), sustainability is the key of life, it refers to make the world a better place for everyone, present and future. From September 25th, 2015, United Nations (2015) decided to implement 17 Sustainable Development Goals, each one with a different problem of global importance to be solved including in one of them the goal number 15: Life on land. This target has specific topics like conserving freshwater ecosystems, ending with deforestation, and ensuring conservation of mountain ecosystems.

This essay focuses on how the Industrial Revolution has led to a massive deforestation in Monterrey´s green areas causing a grave damage to the conditions of the city and human health.
Industrial Revolution refers to the changing process from handcraft, agriculture and livestock economy to a new industrial capitalism with the development of the machine (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2018).

As the consequence of a farmland expansion and a rapid population growth, (Spielvogel, 2013) the Industrial Revolution took place in Great Britain first, around the last quarter of the 18th century, (this because Britain was rich in coal and iron ore, two key materials for the machines running) and time after, Industrial Revolution spread all over the world (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2018). Mechanization of cotton and woolen industries were the principal and most important change in the time (Cambridge University Press, 2000).

Industrial Revolution brought, with no doubt, too many inventions that had changed completely our life such as the telephone or the airplane (Gunnell, 2012), but Industrial Revolution also brought a lot of environmental problems and pollution too. Air pollution issues were present during the Industrial Revolution getting worse every day. Most of the factories used to use fuel and coal, these were burned to make the engines run, emitting carbon dioxide which is the main pollutant gas in Earth. (Cambridge University Press, 2000). The major diseases during the Industrial Revolution were cholera and typhus, these issues were caused because of the lack of hygiene and no knowledge about it. Millions of people died on the time (Trueman, 2015).

During the time of the Industrial Revolution two new economic systems emerged in Great Britain called the industrial capitalism and the socialism. Influenced by the economist and philosopher Adam Smith, the industrial capitalism consisted in the investment of money in the new technologies and machines and industry to produce more and fast goods, but this practically made the rich people were richer and the poor poorer (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2018). On the other hand, we have the socialism, economic system that states that all the goods need to be distributed equally trying to eliminate distinctions between rich and poor people (Seth, 2018).

According to El Informador (2015), one of the first and major examples of the impact of the Industrial Revolution in Monterrey city was “Fundidora de Fierro y Acero de Monterrey, S.A.” foundation. Established in a deforested area of over 200 ha and with more than $10 millions of pesos oro of initial capital, the steel mill began operating on May 5th, 1900. Fundidora was working mainly thanks to the sale of railways to all the country, being this way the main economic driving force of the city for many years.

Pollution issues started to take effect quickly on the environment after the opening. The steel mill issued a red powder that was getting stuck on cars and clothes and the air quality began to fall, people started to protest asking for employment without contaminating their own city. The steel mill was closed in the year 1986 and after 15 years, in 2001 Fundidora de Fierro y Acero de Monterrey, S.A. was renamed “Parque Fundidora”, becoming one of the most symbolical green areas of Monterrey (Ávila, 2006).

Deforestation refers to the elimination of trees and plants of a particular area on land (National Geographic, 2018).

According to Greenpeace (2017), Mexico occupies today the 5th place in the global ranking of deforestation.
Deforestation in Mexico is increasing and it has to be reverted. During the mid 1980s the rate of deforestation was 600 000 ha per year, then increased by the mid 1990s to 700 000 ha per year and by the year 2000 that rate increased to 800 000 ha per year. Despite all the programs started, deforestation will continue for many more years.

(Eguiluz, 2018, p.1)
Monterrey is currently the most polluted city in Mexico (Anguiano, 2018), but is there something in common between deforestation and environmental conditions?
One of the most damaging greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide. All the trees had a very important job absorbing this gas and cleaning the air we breathe, when trees are cut down they release all the carbon dioxide they were storing causing critical damages to the ozone layer (National Geographic, 2018).

Nowadays the number of inhabitants in Monterrey that present respiratory problems are increasing in an alarming rate, from irritation of throat and eyes to heart problems all of them get worse every day because of the consequences the deforestation led on the air (González, 2013).

The opinion of a community member interviewed this year about the quality of life in the future was “It looks like one day we will get to the point where we would have to spend more time inside than outside our buildings to protect our health”.

Even though the Industrial Revolution started in Great Britain long before it started in Monterrey city with different machines, both have several similarities among them such as the pollution issues consequences because of the gases the mills released, the impact it had on the human health (in Great Britain with typhus and cholera (Trueman, 2015) and in Monterrey with respiratory problems (González, 2013) and the developing of the industrial capitalism in both places.
The Industrial Revolution in Monterrey led, with no doubt, a rate of deforestation that only increase with the time because they are mostly related with money and private companies looking for a space to develop and grow economically (National Geographic, 2018). The deforestation is a cause why global warming happens, this because it causes damages to the ozone layer which acts as a filter for UV rays that could have several impacts on the human health and our environment (MARN, 2018) and critical problems in health that can lead to death (Trueman, 2015).

Industrial Revolution had similar consequences all over the world, no matter the time. The deforestation is one of the biggest problems Industrial Revolution brought, and the consequences are slowly ending with life. Even though Monterrey has been always one of the cities with the most important industrial growth for Mexico, it holds the first places in all the rankings about pollution issues.

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Eguiluz, T. (2018). ITEM 7: THE PRESENT SITUATION OF MEXICAN FORESTRY. Retrieved from: informador (2015). Parque Fundidora, ingenio industrial. Retrieved from: (2017). La deforestacion y sus causas. Retrieved from:ález, A. (2013). Contaminación del aire en Monterrey: la salud en peligro. Retrieved from:
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The Editors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2018). Capitalism. Retrieved from: Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2018). Industrial Revolution. Retrieved from:, C. (2015). “Diseases in Industrial Cities in The Industrial Revolution”. Retrieved from: Nations. (2015). Sustainable Development Goals. Retrieved from: