What if Environmental Engineers Didn’t Exist? Part 2!

Written By: Anna Lucas

Environmental engineering and the effects of it can be felt all around the country, if not the world, at all times. Environmental engineers work to combat domestic phenomena such as waste disposal, public health crises related to the environment, and water and air pollution control. They also address global issues, such as unsafe drinking water, climate change, and environmental sustainability. But, in order to really understand the wide scope of issues that environmental engineers work to solve and all the work they do to retain the aspects of the environment that are healthy, we need to get an idea of what the world would be like without these engineers.


If environmental engineers were to cease to exist, or if the field of environmental engineering was never created at all, then what would the world be like? How would the environment, quality of life, and health of animals be different? Well, for starters, we’ve already established what environmental engineers do. So, let's go through the list and see how our lives would be different without these aspects of the field. First, waste disposal: if we didn’t have effective waste disposal, then our waste would begin to pile up in cities and towns. Already this is already (sorta) the case, as we have dumps where we put our trash, these dumps are only possible because waste disposal has been regulated by environmental engineers. So, for one, all kinds of waste from the regular waste we humans create on a daily basis such as trash or human waste like feces, to more extreme kinds of waste such as nuclear waste, would be piling up all over the place.


Another thing that environmental engineers regulate is food and water. They manage the cleanliness standards of water and food, and the kinds of chemicals that can and cannot be allowed to be contaminated or added into this water and food. If it weren't for environmental engineers managing these aspects, then our water would likely be very contaminated from pollution and runoff and our food would likely be loaded with chemicals such as pesticides and dangerous types of fertilizers that could have adverse impacts on people’s health. Another major problem that would spiral out of control if it weren't for environmental engineers would be climate change. If it weren’t for these engineers trying everything possible to combat the effects of climate change, and make efforts to stop climate change itself getting worse, then the environment would be out of control and pushed into dangerous levels very fast. Our ocean levels would continue to rise, the ozone would continue to deplete allowing more of the sun’s dangerous rays to access our bodies and environments, leading to reduced crop yields, mass water evaporation, and rising temperatures.

And so, now that we’ve established the kind of world we would live in if it weren’t for the efforts of environmental engineers, then we can understand why they are so important to our lives. If it weren’t for environmental engineers, then the environment and our planet as we know it would become toxic to our bodies and to the environment all around us, eventually leading to our eventual extinction. It may seem dramatic or over-exaggerated, but it’s true. So, the impact that environmental engineers have on the world and the lives of everyone living on it is major, and even if we don’t realize it, environmental engineers and their efforts impact all of our lives in every aspect of our being.


Image Credit:

Davey, Reginald. “Healthy World/Unhealthy World.” News.medical.net, 15 July 2022, https://www.news-medical.net/life-sciences/How-Have-Microbes-Adapted-to-Climate-Change.aspx. Accessed 21 July 2022.

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