Global changes and industrial ecology
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Global Changes and Industrial Ecology. Pedro J.J. Alvarez, Ph.D., P.E., DEE. Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. Anthropogenic Changes We have transformed or degraded 39-50% of the land surface (agriculture, urbanization).

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Global changes and industrial ecology

Global Changes and Industrial Ecology

Pedro J.J. Alvarez, Ph.D., P.E., DEE

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering


Global changes and industrial ecology

Anthropogenic Changes

  • We have transformed or degraded 39-50% of the land surface (agriculture, urbanization).

  • Since 1850, the atmospheric CO2 concentration has increased by 40% (hydrocarbon combustion, deforestation)

  • We use 50% of readily available fresh water in the planet

  • More than 20% of bird species became extinct in the last 200 years

  • 22% of fishery resources have been depleted, and 44% are in danger


Global changes and industrial ecology

Major Environmental Problems

México, D.F.


Global changes and industrial ecology

Acid Rain

lakes (fish)

soil (agriculture)

art


Global changes and industrial ecology

Mutant Frogs (Minnesota)


Global changes and industrial ecology

What Happens to Humans?

  • 95% of pesticides could cause cancer!!!

  • Babies and young children may have poor brain development


Selected emerging pollutant classes

Selected Emerging Pollutant Classes

  • Endocrine disruptors Pharmaceuticals & cosmetics that bioaccumulate and affect reproduction (PFOs, synthetic musk fragrances, PBDEs)

  • Waste Nanomaterials Growing industry with materials that bioaccumulate or co-transport pollutants (e.g., C-nanotubes, bucky balls)

  • Biological agents Calcivirus, prions, antibiotic resistance genes, transgenics


Global changes and industrial ecology

Global Problems


The atmosphere

The Atmosphere

100 km

  • Relatively small compartment

    (0.3% of the ocean's mass)

  • Easy to contaminate (little dilution)

  • Greenhouse gases CO2, CFCs, CH4, N2O affect global climate


Global changes and industrial ecology

CO2 Emissions


Global changes and industrial ecology

Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming

CO2, CH4, N2O, CFCs

Trap IR radiation

Irradiate heat


Global changes and industrial ecology

Global Warming:

Flooding (MSL rises 4 mm/ year, 2100: 15-95 mm/ year)

Malaria, schistosomiasis, cholera

Saline Intrusion

New Deserts?

Disasters (hurricanes)


Global changes and industrial ecology

Average temperature increased by 0.6 C

(the 90’s was the warmest decade of the century)

Degree Celsius

Goddard Institute for Space Studies

1860 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000


Precautionary principle

Precautionary Principle

  • There is considerable uncertainty regarding anthropogenic effects on global climate, but….

  • “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause-and-effect relations are not fully established scientifically”.

    1998 Wingspread Statement

  • “If we live as if it matters and it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. If we live as if it doesn’t matter, and it matters, then it matters”.


Global changes and industrial ecology

Biodiversity is in Danger

Perhaps 10,000 species per year are lost out of 4-14 million total

(1.7 million known species)


Global changes and industrial ecology

“To worry about the environment and biodiversity, you must have at least one full meal per day”

Richard Leaky, Director, Kenya Wildlife Service


Global changes and industrial ecology

Environmental problems Have two roots

1. Demographic explosion….


Global changes and industrial ecology

This is mainly a problem of underdeveloped countries


Global changes and industrial ecology

The second root of environmental problems:

2. Energy use and consumerism, developed countries

(exacerbated by the globalization of the economy)

Per capita CO2 Emissions

(Energy use - hydrocarbons, coal)


Global changes and industrial ecology

Global Poverty = most serious environmental problem

(1.3 x109 lack potable water, 2.3 x109 lack sanitary facilities, 13 million children/yr die of hunger, diarrhea)


Un stats the impoverished world

UN Stats: The Impoverished World

  • 50% live on less than $2/day; have no electricity; they have never made or received a phone call

  • 38% lack sanitary facilities and conveyance of sewage

  • 21% lack safe drinking water

  • 22% are illiterate (15% women, 6% men)

  • Malaria, HIV/AIDS, dengue, diarrhea/dysentery kill millions each year


Un stats the rich world

UN Stats: The Rich World

  • 20% generate and enjoy 86% of the wealth

  • 5% (U.S./Canada) consume…

    • 25-30% of its nonrenewable Resources

    • Emit 25% of GHG

    • Use 30% of its energy

    • $10 Trillion GDP

  • Only 6% own a computer

  • Only 2% have access to the Internet


Global changes and industrial ecology

Some environmental problems improve with development as Income per capita increases


Global changes and industrial ecology

Industrial Ecology

  • It is a multidisciplinary framework to design and operate industries as if they were living entities interacting with ecosystems.

  • Seeks to attain a balance between economic gains and ecological and global interests.

  • It is the science behind sustainable development.


Natural ecology

Natural Ecology

Heat

Detritus

Death

Heat

Homo

sapiens

Waste

Respiration

Carnivores

& Excretion

(CO2, other)

Herbivores

Mineralization

Primary Produces

Solar Energy

Primary

Production

Nutrients


Industrial ecology

Industrial Ecology

CH4, CO2

Landfill

Heat

Waste

Heat

Recycle

Reuse

Remanufacture

Heat

Products

Intermediates

Waste

Incineration

Materials

Energy

+ Work

Raw

Materials


Conventional design

Conventional Design

Energy

Energy

Raw

Materials

Manufacture

Product

Use

Discard in

Landfill

Waste

Waste


Green design

Green Design

Energy

Efficiency

Energy

Efficiency

Waste minimization

Safe disposal

Innocuous end products

Product

Use

Manufacture

Raw

Materials

Recycle

Reuse

Remanufacture, Recycle


Global changes and industrial ecology

Green Options for Existing Processes

  • Eliminate or replace product (life cycle assessment)

  • Eliminate or minimize hazardous substance use (mass balance)

  • Minimize energy use (audits)

  • Dematerialization (Minimize weight and/or volume, Combine various functions into one product, Make fewer different styles, Minimize/take back packaging, Moore’s Law: the speed of a chip doubles every 2 years)

  • Increase efficiency and economic life

  • Redesign for reuse, remanufacture, or easy repair

  • Reflect environmental cost in the price of the product


Global changes and industrial ecology

Industry (not government) must be the agent of change

Transport

Distribution,

Sell

Packaging

take-back

Manufacture

Remanufacture

Recycle

Use by

Consumer

Recycle

Reuse

Environmental Impact?

Water, Air, Soil

Human and Ecological

Minimize Waste

Marketing

Final

Disposal to

the Environment

Product

Development

New Product Idea


Global changes and industrial ecology

Annual Cost of Pollution Control in the USA


Global changes and industrial ecology

Value of Stocks

(1/1/94 - 12/2/99)

390%

Green Companies

+228%

340%

290%

240%

190%

Other Companies

+120%

140%

90%

1994

1996

1995

1997

1998


Sustainable development

Sustainable Development

“Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”

Gro Brundtland, Prime Minister of Norway

When considering a new project,

  • Is it reversible?

  • Is it persistent?

  • How much uncertainty? (generational justice)

  • Is it socially just?

Ideal

Project


Global changes and industrial ecology

Global sustainability needs international collaboration to meet complementary needs of the 1st and 3rd worlds

  • Developing countries have natural resources (land, water, energy, minerals, genetic pool) and work force.

  • Developed countries have the capital and technology needed to exploit these resources sustainably (globalización?)


Old and new paradigms elkington 1997 cannibals with forks

Old – Global Consumer

Me

More

Materialism

Quantity

Greed

Short-term

Rights

New – World Citizen

We

Enough

Holism

Quality

Need

Long-Term

Responsibilities

Old and New Paradigms Elkington (1997) – Cannibals with Forks


Global changes and industrial ecology

“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when they were created”


Global changes and industrial ecology

Never doubt that a small group

of thoughtful, committed citizens

can change the world; indeed,

it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead


Global changes and industrial ecology

Questions?


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • Global change and global warming are already occurring

  • The world will be warmer in the 21st century with fewer species

  • But the amount of change depends on our actions now and in the next decades to protect opportunities for future generations

  • Sustainable development seeks new solutions via international cooperation, renewable resources, and market mechanisms

  • A good environment and a good economy can go hand-in-hand

  • But global poverty is still the largest “environmental” problem, and it demands our urgent attention


Role for aeesp in sustainability

Role for AEESP in Sustainability

  • Revise/revamp our curricula to add more sustainability science and engineering (mostly we are already equipped in the fundamentals, but we need greater appreciation for a systems viewpoint, life cycle engineering, social science, culture, partnerships, and interdisciplinary teams)

  • Show Leadership -- raise the level of awareness among our profession and constituencies; show that we are concerned and can contribute (World Summit on Sustainable Development)

  • Water, air, and wastewater engineering are critical infrastructure needs of the developing world with which we can help (doing good and doing well)


Sustainable economics

Old View:

$ Bottom Line

$ Capital

$ Assets

Downsizing

Exclusive

Shareholders

Growth

Deregulation

New View:

Triple Bottom Line

Social and Natural Capital

Intellectual& Borrow Assets

Innovation

Inclusive

Stakeholders

Sustainability

Reregulation

Sustainable Economics


Global changes and industrial ecology

Product Life Cycle Analysis

Mass Balances, Risk Assessment

Energy Audits

Pollution Prevention

Program

Reduce Contamination

Sources

Recycle

Remanufacture

Recovery

Down-cycle

Change Product

or Packaging

Reuse

Sell

Control

Sources

Change

Process

Technology

Change

Operations

Substitute

Materials


News that give hope

News that give hope

  • Progress in public health and reduction in infant mortality

  • More efficient use of energy

  • Increase in global per capita income

  • Global democratization and education

  • Global treaties (Montreal, Rio, Kyoto)

  • Market forces (prices reflecting ecological truth; CO2 emission credits and trading)

  • Multinational companies becoming greener

  • Protection and de-listing of endangered species


Global changes and industrial ecology

Rapid development

Little pollution control

wastewater treatment

Air pollution control

Total

Solid & hazardous wastes

Emissions

Industrial

Per Year

Ecology

1950

1960

1970

1980

1990

2000

Year


Global changes and industrial ecology

Per capita CO2 Emissions

(Energy use - hydrocarbons, coal)


Global changes and industrial ecology

Toxic Release Inventory

  • Who wants to be first on the list of polluters?

  • Shame is a powerful incentive to reduce emissions


Sustainable development corollaries

Sustainable Development Corollaries

  • Do not exploit renewable resources faster than they can be regenerated (wood)

  • Do not use non-renewable resources faster than we can find alternative replacements (petroleum)

  • When unavoidable to discard wastes to the environment, do not pollute faster than the ecosystem can assimilate.


Green engineering sustainability

Green Engineering ≠ Sustainability

Economy

Society

Culture

Social and

generational justice

Stakeholderparticipation

Informed citizenry

Productivity

Technological growth

Profit & employment

Quality of life

Equity

Health

Wastes

Water usage

Energy use

Materials use

Ecosystem health

Pollution Control

Biodiversity

Natural resources protection

and restoration

Environment


Globalization

Globalization

  • Globalization, in theory, eliminates trade barriers and tariffs, which lowers costs and increases profits. This brings prosperity, choice, and democracy. But..

  • Although life expectancy and mean income have improved, many people have been left behind in the 3rd world

  • Globalization has distorted the allocation of resources in favor of private goods at the expense of public goods

  • Global financial markets are prone to crisis which hurts poor people and poor countries more than rich ones


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