Engineering has been considered the most practical means of eradicating poor living condition through innovations and improved technology. It has been the necessary force behind modernization and industrialization that has enabled improved living conditions. Great innovations in technology have seen different classification of countries, from un-developed, developing, developed, to superpowers. These classifications have brought a great distinction and aroused competitions among the nations and as a result increased engineering activities significantly. However, there are great dangers that have been posed by increased engineering activities in different nation.
One of the greatest dangers that have emerged from increased engineering activities and innovations is pollution. Industrial activities have brought about great pollution in the air, land and water bodies (Vesilind and Alastair 5). Great nation; the developed nations have been leading in polluting the environment through poor waste disposal and management. This has seen the developing and undeveloped nations suffer as a result of the great engineering actions from the developed nation. Air pollution from industries has increased carbon dioxide concentration in the air worldwide, a situation that has brought about global warming globaly. This situation has brought about destructive conditions that have made life on earth unbearable. Global warming interferes with normal climatic conditions making it difficult to predict climatic conditions (Harrison 7). These conditions are responsible for floods which have displaced and killed many people in different places of the world. The root cause of all this problems is engineering activities worldwide. This has lead to a rather ironical question on whether engineering is helping to improve standards of living or destroying humanity? Also, is it appropriate for other nations to suffer the consequences of activities from other nations?
In major world conferences, small nations have stood lamenting on the deteriorating universal conditions that have been consequence of increased engineering activities in the developed nation. On the Global Conference that was held in Greece on 2014, the main contributors towards global warming were of energy, transport and processing industries (Vaishnav 26). All this sectors have their backbone in engineering. The energy sectors are currently considering nuclear power as the most reliable source of power. A very small unit of radioactive element is thought to provide big quantities of power. Therefore this seem to offer a better alternative compared to other sources of power generation which includes hydro, thermal, wind and solar. However, radioactive elements pose great danger in handling them and managing their waste product. Therefore, as we advance to different levels of innovations and technology, we tend to become more vulnerable to distractive activities. The decision on whether to move forward in development and increase the expected risk or to remain in the same position and shun great innovations that might be destructive in future is left to the engineers. However, there is great pressure from other sectors to compel engineers to address such ethical issues before they paralyze other economical sectors.
Engineering activities have exposed innocent people to great threats and hazardous systems that affect the health of the general population. Transmission systems have seen construction of signal boosters to enable transmission of electromagnetic wave to long distances. These boosters have posed great health dangers to the people inhabiting the regions around them to the extent of causing death and diseases like cancer to the general population. This has made the general population wonder whether engineering is a ‘solution’ to humanity or a ‘calamity’ to humanity. On the other hand, this makes the people ask if there are law and legislation that protect innocent civilian from interference by destructive engineering activities. In some cases people are forced to cope up with destructive situations in the name of technological development. Others are forced to cope with environmental noise that is caused by engineering activities which at the end destroys their eardrum and render them to situations of critical medication. It is quite unfair for such actions to happen with little attention to rectify the situation and let innocent people suffer on the expense of nation development. I do not advocate for lack of progress in development of the country, however, I do not support the pain and harm that engineering is causing to innocent civilians. As much as we are aggressive to implement new innovation, it is important to view the progress and consider all hazardous situations that might be posed by the new innovations.
One of the vital attributes that engineers should have is fighting ignorance (Baura 34). It would be quite unprofessional for engineering activities to thrive under ignorance. Ignorance in the sense that destruction subjecting innocent civilians to pain and torture is not punished. Engineers should be held accountable for interference they cause to innocent civilians in the most justified manner. However, as much as justice is done to others, engineers require protection from the government in order to be able undertake most challenging and demanding projects. Some of the projects that engineers have put in place have led to improved living standards. This includes better infrastructure, improved communication system, accurate measurement systems and modern transportation systems. These systems have led to quick movement of people and enable fast link up with fast transfer of important messages. Despite many ethical concerns in engineering field, it remains to be a solution to humanity.
Baura, Gail D. Engineering Ethics: An Industrial Perspective. Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press, 2006. Internet resource.
Harrison, Roy M. Pollution: Causes, Effects and Control. Cambridge: Royal Soc. of Chemistry, 2001. Print.
Vaishnav, Parth. “Greenhouse Gas Emissions from International Transport.” Issues In Science & Technology 30.2 (2014): 25-28. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 Jan. 2015.
Vesilind, P A, and Alastair S. Gunn. Engineering, Ethics, and the Environment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Print.