Environmental Degradation in the Modern Era

I once remember a high school history teacher of mine telling me how he did not know much about the environment. Still, he thought it was becoming increasingly worse. I then remember my AP Chem teacher, during my sophomore year of high school, confirming the fact that the environment is degrading, and that one did not need to be in an AP science class to recognize this. When I first heard about this issue, I did not know what to think, as I had grown accustomed to weather disasters such as Hurricane Sandy affecting my own area of New Jersey. I had wrongly assumed for some reason that this was natural and that these hurricanes and pollutants in the air were just some kind of byproduct of human existence. It did not take me long, however, to realize that this is not the way the environment should be and that global temperatures rising is negatively impacting the world.