No, the first statement dies not suggest that man is able to rid himself from all environmental influences. The reason for this is that man lives in the environment. If man acts unwisely and does not care about nature or even destroys it, he will still have some space around him, but will we be able to call this space an environment? No.
For instance, for decades of years people burned fossil fuels, which resulted in greenhouse effect. The temperature is rising. This affects climate. Therefore, this affects the environment where the man lives.
A famine in Sahel in 2012 affected 15 to 20 million people. This is a bad result of man at liberty to choose between a wide range of environmental possibilities.
The Great Green Wall is a good example of people who tried to fix climate-scale issues.