Environmental Responsibility of Engineers
Environmental responsibility focuses on a wide range of activities that are aimed at conserving the environment. This strategy focuses on performing environmentally responsible activities and using substances that lower carbon footprint in the environment. Increasing biodiversity has also been encouraged to help manage the environment. Environmental responsibility involves creating a sustainable atmosphere for habitat where all human beings, animals and living things can live comfortably. Therefore, environmental responsibility is a task that should be performed by all people because all living things benefit nature (Desjardins, p. 68). Individuals and corporate organizations have a duty to conserve the environment by avoiding disposal of harmful substances to the environment (Desjardins, p. 54). This paper focuses on responsibilities of environmental engineers, with a focuson their roles in providing solutions to the problem of global warming and climate changes. The paper also focuses on scientific explanation about global warming. In addition, the paper focuses on the impact of climatic changes to human beings and other living organisms.
Environmental responsibility of engineers by Desjardins
Environmental engineers have a responsibility of designing models and conducting research on environmental conservation. They conduct the research by taking samples of soil and underground water to test whether there is any contamination that may jeopardize human lives when they start consuming such water (Desjardins, p. 85). They also establish the appropriate control measures that organizations and individuals may adopt to ensure that the environment is free from pollution. In most cases, majority of environmental engineers work as advisors and consultants. They advise individuals, organizations, and the government on the best methods of environmental conservation. Environmental engineers play a significant role in advising the government and private organizations on how to prepare a comprehensive financial plan on environmental management (Gini and Alexei, p. 208).
They spend quality time in the field rather than working in the office. This enables engineers to interact with the people and obtain valuable information from the people they meet in the field. The information obtained enables them to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the collected samples. They employ the knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics, geography, mathematics, and computer to develop models that can facilitate prevention of water, air and soil pollution. In addition, appropriate methods for recycling waste materials are learnt. In connection to the above responsibilities, environmental engineers may conduct investigations on the importance of managing hazardous materials that can be used after careful and thorough treatment. They may also provide necessary guidelines on how the problem of acidic rain may be minimized by individuals and factories. Minimizing acidic rain may be carried out by ensuring that factories and industries do not release excess carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is aimed at preventing depletion of the ozone layer, which may consequently lead to global warming (Desjardins, p. 64).
Environmental engineers have an ethical responsibility that they should exercise when executing their professional responsibilities. They should ensure that they observe high level of integrity when conducting the research. This means that when collecting environmental conservation data, they should avoid providing misleading informationthat may not help to improve the environmental situation. When writing reports and findings of their research, they have a responsibility of ensuring that they are guided by professionalism (Mitcham, p. 48). They should acknowledge the authority of ideas that have been used to substantiate their environmental reports.
The Truth about Denial listed as `Global Warming Denial
There have been controversies between different groups of people about whether global warming is caused by human activities, or it is just a natural occurrence. Majority of the proponents of the argument that global warming is caused by human activities were from America. Approximately sixty four percent of the Americans supported the argument (Desjardins, p. 53). On the other hand, people from Japan and Europe opposed the argument and held that global warming is caused by natural activities such as burning natural gases, coals and gases. There have been various scientific evidences that explain that global warming is caused by excess carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere. Excess carbon dioxide leads to an increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Consequently, the greenhouse gases cause global warming. Some scientists dispute the notion that global warming is not caused by human activities. They argue that carbon dioxide may be caused by volcanic activities, which are also a natural activity. Therefore, the impact of natural activities may also result to global warming. Other proponents of this argument hold that carbon dioxide is released by animals into the atmosphere and it is then taken in by plants for photosynthesis. Therefore, the argument that global warming is caused by human activities cannot be true (Mitcham, p. 74).
During the medieval period, commonly referred to as Medieval Warm period, data was collected from Europe. The collected data disputed the argument that global warming is caused by human activities. The proponents of Medieval Warm Period argued that temperatures were regional and not global (Mitcham, p. 78). Other proponents of the argument note that global warming is not caused by human activities. They substantiate their assertions by arguing that the release of methane from arctic sea beds and via anaerobic process in animals leads to the release of methane into the atmosphere. Methane is the second largest gas, after carbon dioxide, and contributes to global warming (Mitcham, p. 53).
On the contrary, other scientist dispute the argument by strongly asserting that global warming is not a natural, but rather is caused by human activities. They substantiate their arguments by arguing that, prior to industrialization period, there was no concern on the issue of global warming. This is because there was no excess omission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Hence, there was a balance between the amount of carbon dioxide released from a volcanic eruption and the one released by animals (Mitcham, p. 48). Temperatures measured globally indicate that, the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere has substantially increased since industrialization period. This is as a result of burning of fossil fuel and vegetation leading to excessive temperature. Human activities, such as manufacturing and transportation, have been increasing significantly as economies improve. The impact of burning of fossil fuel by factories and vehicles has led to subsequent increase in the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Such emissions have increased as a result of human activities. The emissions have contributed significantly to an increase in global temperatures.
The impacts of global warming are numerous ranging from destruction of habitat for living things such as animals and plants. The depletion of the ozone layer enables ultraviolet rays to penetrate into the earth surface. The ultra violet rays tend to threaten the human life due to its adverse health effects. It has been predicted that, by the year 2100, global warming will cause depletion of coral reefs as a result of higher temperatures and acidic rains in the oceans. The extinction of coral reefs will subsequently lead to massive destruction of the sea ecosystem. Research indicates that global warming will lead to agricultural crop failure. This condition will lead to migration of people to look for places where they can get food and water. Research further indicates that storms will persistently increase if no actions are to taken to reduce the occurrence of global warming. It has been anticipated that global warming will lead to rise in sea levels especially along some of the coastal regions of the United States. The rise in sea level will lead to the displacement of families in those regions. Human activities, such as excessive application of nitrogenous fertilizers, have led to a persistent increase in the underground temperatures. An increase in underground temperature will further escalate the impacts of global warming on the earth surface (Gini and Alexei, p. 48).
Scientific evidence indicates that human activities are the primary cause of global warming. Human activities such as deforestation have negatively contributed to adverse climatic condition thus making environment incapable to support life. Scientifically, plants utilize carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. Therefore, deforestation increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This is because there are no plants to utilize the amount of carbon dioxide released by animals and other human activities. Large amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lead to global warming (Gini and Alexei, p. 75).
Scientific Consensus on Climate Change
There are different arguments by different scientists about global warming. The debate on whether global warming is caused by natural occurrences or a factor that is caused by human beings has led to researchaimed at establishing objective evidence and facts to substantiate the assertions being put forward (Mitcham, p. 86). The aim of substantiating the assertions is to identify who is wrong in respect to the issue of global warming. The inter-governmental panel on climate change argued that human activities are the leading cause of global warming. The panel also evaluated the argument by checking on previous conditions prior to industrialization. The panel found that there were no such experiences of global warming prior to industrialization. Therefore, global warming is a contemporary issue in the world. Although there were disagreements in regard to climate change among different scientist, consensus has been reached that global warming exists (Gini and Alexei, p. 63).
However, there has been no pertinent guideline that has been provided by scientists to solve the problem of global warming. The report by intergovernmental panel on climate change has provided substantial evidences from numerous scientists who have come to a consensus that climate change is as a result of human activities. The report has been supported by many scientists because it provides objective evidence that human actions are the main cause of persistent increase in global temperatures (Gini and Alexei, p. 75). On the other hand, the proponents of the argumentthat global warming is as a result of natural happenings have no substantial evidence. Therefore, credibility about their argument still remains questionable. In this respect, it can be agreed that human activities are a major cause of climatic changes.
The environmental responsibility by engineers is a vital activity to the entire world and involves every person irrespective of his or her professional. This is because the task of environmental engineers requires them to interact with people in order to obtain vital information with respect to environmental management. Additionally, it involves taking care of the environment and preventing environmental pollution. The emergence of environmental engineers has been a significant remedy for the environmental problems being experienced around the world. This is because environmental engineers have both ethical and professional responsibility to provide remedies to environmental problems that the world has been and is still experiencing. Environmental engineers conduct research and sample tests in order to come up with inferences concerning their findings. The result of the report findings provide the government, private entities and members of the public with appropriate mechanisms that can be adopted in order to address the environmental problems such as global warming. Global warming is a contemporary issue that has raised concern to almost every person in the world because of its severe impacts. The government and non-governmental organizations have started to employ immediate intervention measures to arrest the situation due to its adverse impact into human life and ecosystem. The United Nations, United States government, and other stakeholders have come together to find ways through which the situation may be solved. The environmental engineers have been bestowed with a responsibility of developing models and research reports about what can be done to solve the issue of climatic change. There have been controversies on whether the global warming is as a result of human activities or is a natural occurrence. The environmental engineers and scientist have come together to provide the answer to the argument. Based on the research, it has been found that global warming is caused by human activities, as opposed to natural causes.