In the article "Why the climate fight needs engineers", Shah (2015) suggests the need for engineering leaders with technical skills to help combat climate change in the region as cities struggles with rapid urbanisation thus becoming susceptible to climate change. Also, he agrees with Khew, Deputy President of IES, who believes the urgent demand for "sustainable engineering solutions" will help achieve an eco-friendly economy with the opportunities given to engineers to find sustainable solutions and creating a resilient infrastructure system.
I agree with the author that engineers are needed to help combat climate change. Engineers are the frontline of innovation and equipping them with much needed knowledge on sustainability and instilling leadership skills onto them to take on directives can help tackle climate change. Engineers should use their expertise to find sustainable solutions as the world looks into sustainable energy in the future. However, I feel the author can explain further in his article on how engineers can contribute their expertise socially and economically such as creating social awareness using technology and improving existing systems which can therefore be economically cost-effective.
Firstly, Parkinson (2003) states that one area that engineers can focus on is the need for support of social change. For example, engineers can invent technologies which can bring about social awareness on climate change and twerking existing system to convey a message to the public to use eco-friendly technologies. For example, using public transport can educate the public on reducing carbon emissions on the road but public transports have to lead in terms of being eco-friendly. Engineers studied this and came up with electric-powered vehicles which does not use fossil fuels and are on the midst of introducing electric cars on the road in the future as well.
Secondly, the author can explain how engineers can implement cost-effective measures by twerking existing systems. In one example, Nusca (2010) mentions how engineers in the US Pacific Northwest had successfully improved efficiency of dams in warm climate through a devised management system whereby water losses in the summer are reduced by 25% and the risk of flooding is reduced as reservoirs are filled reliably. The system enables them to “determine when to empty the reservoir for flood control in the winter” and “refill them in spring for storage”. They did not had to buy expensive add-ons to their system but just by having engineers to improve on them can be cost-effective.
In conclusion, engineers are needed to tackle climate change but I feel that their roles can be specifically explained by the author on the social and economic front. Engineers also need to take into account changing patterns in society when addressing climate change as it can turn out to be costly if not prudent in their assessment. Nonetheless, the engineering sector have contributed significantly to the economy and will certainly be needed to help create an eco-friendly economy in the future through sustainable solutions as it seeks to gain an edge against climate change.
By Vaidehi Shah (8 June 2015) Eco-business, Why the climate fight needs engineers. Retrieved from http://www.eco-business.com/news/why-the-climate-fight-needs-engineers/
By Dr Stuart Parkinson (12 September 2003) Scientists for global responsibility, tackling climate change – the role of the engineer. Retrieved from http://www.sgr.org.uk/resources/tackling-climate-change-role-engineer
By Andrew Nusca (Jan 28, 2010) With new technique, engineers prepare Pacific Northwest dams for climate change. Retrieved from http://www.zdnet.com/article/with-new-technique-engineers-prepare-pacific-northwest-dams-for-climate-change/