Engineers in Environmental Protection
Industrialization has brought untold wealth and has transformed the way of life in the last century. Industrialization and urbanization have become a global phenomenon, resulting in serious environmental problems such as resource depletion, climate change, and pollution. Large scale use of natural recourses, their polluting processes and transport infrastructure have exacerbated the environmental problems. Since the beginning of industrialization humankind has been utilizing natural resources-coal, oil, gas, water, minerals-at an accelerating rate. Energy resources are an obvious example of limited resources whose uses have major impact on environment in the form of emission of harmful gases and other wastes and also, inevitably, generates carbon dioxide, a gas which plays a key role in the greenhouse ‘global warming’ effect. Rivers are polluted by factories and becoming a health hazard. The dumping of industrial waste into streams is resulting contaminating clean water supplies. There were reports of rivers that had turned orange or had caught on fire, the smog over some cities was becoming intolerable, and there were signs of negative health consequences from buried waste. Environmental concerns have become increasingly central to social policy. The roles of governments in relation to environmental issue are becoming extremely important. A great many of environmental damage problems are due to industrialization and urbanization. Human beings have developed a capacity to create and use tools or what is now called technology. Technology can provide the means for modifying the natural environment for human purpose. Engineers have professional obligations to society. Engineers are called on to seek solutions to problems that have a far reaching impact on society. The solution of such problems requires careful and responsible application of scientific principles. It is necessary for the engineer to address problems professionally in a manner that will ensure broader issues and aspects of a problem.. As per Peter Schulge and others in their book ‘Engineering within Ecological Constraints’ “the expectations placed on engineers shift with the cultural evolution of societies in which they practice. An important shift has occurred with the growth of human impacts on planet. When the cumulative impact of human was small, the environmental implications of engineering designs were of less concerns. Now that the impact of humans has reached a global scale, there is global concern about the environmental implications of engineering designs. A new set of constraints have become important to engineersecological constraints.”
Major Impacts on Environment due to Industrialization and Urbanization Disposal of chemical waste directly into the air, water, and soil results pollution of air and rivers, industrial and automotive smog. Housing and urban development has many environmental consequences; house building consumes raw material and energy and the resulting development affects the wider environment. Energy requirements of housing are significant contributor to global warming. Generation of harmful gases and other waste resulting in global warming. Release of radioactive materials from the various stages of nuclear fuel cycles. Energy use is probably one of the key factors influencing environmental impacts. Another key effect of environmental degradation is global warming and its immediate effect in the environment is rise in carbon dioxide level. As per United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), since the middle of nineteenth century, the average concentration of carbon dioxide in the world’s atmosphere has risen from 280 parts per million (ppm) to 370 ppm and will reach between 450 and 500 ppm by 2050 if no precautionary measures are taken. Another effect of global warming is the rise in Temperature. The IPCC estimates that temperature will rise by between 0.5...
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