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Michael Melchiorre
Mrs. Crist
English IV
3/3/16
Environmental Engineering: The Truth and Reality
Man's interaction with nature has led to a decrease in the environments quality. This has
created numerous issues that range from the decline of biodiversity to the need for carbon sinks.
Sadly, these problems did not always exist until the late 19th century when they became
detrimental to our ecosystem. As a result, a new breed of engineering was conceived to combat
the growing issues and it has come to be known as environmental engineering (ENE). These
engineers use various methods to reduce the ecological damage that society contributes to the
environment without even knowing it. Lately, the environment cannot sustain itself anymore and
it has become dependent on ENEs to bring it back up on its feet.
We would not have to restore the balance of nature if not for our anthropogenic ways.
Now we are faced with a multitude of environmental concerns that strains our very way of life.
Not only do these problems affect mankind, but they have also negatively impacted our wildlife.
These issues consist of, but are not limited to the loss of biodiversity, climate change, carbon
emissions, water pollution, and resource depletion. Out of these issues, climate change is the
most dangerous because most of the other threats that face society contribute to its effects.
According to environmentalists, 97 percent of climate scientists agree that severe weather
events such as droughts, wild fires, heat waves, and flooding will result from climate change
alone (Marks, Zimmer 1). The effects of climate change combined with the many other issues

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that affect the ecosystem can be devastating for the entire world. This means that most of our
crops will be destroyed, wild life will diminish, the air will become difficult to breath, and our
water will become unusable.
Environmental engineers create and use processes to mend these issues so that severe
effects like this do not occur. Before they develop these processes, they need to assess the
ecological damage that has been done or is to come by using chemistry, biology, physics, soil and
fluid mechanics, and hydrology. Using this knowledge, ENEs have created and use air-pollution
control, solid and hazardous waste management, and water treatment to combat environmental
concerns, as stated by Bengston. The devices used to aid in the reduction of air pollution
include settling chambers, baghouses, cyclones, wet scrubbers, and electrostatic precipitators
(Bengston 1). For solid and hazardous waste, they typically incinerate or use landfills to dispose
of the materials. Lastly, water treatments include turbidity removal, catch basins, trickling filters,
oxidation ponds, activated sludge, and biological treatments to remove any fine suspended
organic matter.
These processes have helped the ecosystem tremendously and it has lowered the
ecological damage significantly. Notice how you do not hear about acid rain anymore? This is
because the EPA has reduced the particulates emitted into to the atmosphere that caused it. Now
2.6 billion people have clean drinking water at the moment and that number is climbing (Libii,
Kahler 1). These few results show the improvements that environmental engineers have
accomplished over the years. Although these results show a positive outlook for the future,
ENEs still have a long way to go. As society continues to affect the environment and keep
ignoring the consequences, progress in restoring the delicate balance of nature will be hindered.
As long as environmental issues exist, environmental engineers will be in high demand.

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Environmental engineering has become greatly depended on because of the


anthropogenic affects that has been brought to the environment. These can range from the
decline of biodiversity to the need for carbon sinks. In order to fix these issues, solutions were
created by environmental engineers. As the results show, we just may be on the road to fixing our
mistakes. Because of the steps taken by ENEs, the environment can become stronger and we
will not need to rely on other means to get it back up on its feet.

Work Cited

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Libii, Josu Njock and Khler, Karen N. "Environmental engineering." Encyclopedia of


Environmental Issues, Revised Edition. Ed. Craig W. Allin. Hackensack: Salem, 2011. n.
pag. Salem Online. Web. 02 Mar. 2016. <http://online.salempress.com>.
Bengtson, Harlan H. "Environmental Engineering."Applied Science. Ed. Donald R.
Franceschetti. Hackensack: Salem, 2012. n. pag. Salem Online. Web. 02 Mar. 2016.
<http://online.salempress.com>.
Marks, Josh. "The 6 Most Pressing Environmental IssuesAnd What You Can Do to Help Solve
Them." Inhabitat Green Design Innovation Architecture Green Building. 22 Apr. 2015.
Web. 03 Mar. 2016.
Zimmer, Lori. "7 Biggest Threats to the Environment - Why We Still Need Earth Day." Inhabitat
Green Design Innovation Architecture Green Building. 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 03 Mar. 2016.