Comes now twentieth-century man. Is he poised on the edge of a calamitous precipice of environmental degradation or ascending to a higher plane of human existence owing to his mastery of technology and its promise of one day mitigating his destructive behavior? With progress at his back, propelling him forward into a brave new world of human achievement, must he stop to take account of the woes his actions have visited on the natural world or are such questions prudently left to as-yet undreamt of devices and processes? For a creature that can overcome the boundaries and impediments of his world, the future appears limitless. In the face of such change, is man a marvel of enlightened innovation or a disastrous blight on a polluted planet? Can his existence be both a blessing and a curse? These dichotomous questions lurked behind the accelerating pace of industrialization as the twentieth century dawned.