Historically, technological advances have improved quality of life for humanity, however, there are notable trade-offs involved with the way we use energy, natural resources, and synthetic materials.
Harvesting energy from fossil fuels increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere which contributes to the greenhouse effect. Nuclear energy isn't without flaw either -- the waste produced by nuclear power plants needs to be stored safely and the plants themselves can harm their environment in the event of a nuclear disaster.
Energy produced from wind turbines does not produce as many emissions contributing to the greenhouse effect, however the cost of producing turbines to harvest wind energy is more expensive than coal power.
Synthetic materials produced from plants have allowed for the mass production of materials from renewable sources. Renewable sources of synthetic materials produce fewer negative trade-offs and do not have a finite supply of resources.
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, machines have been in use. The increase in the number of machines used throughout the world over time has produced both negative and positive effects.