Module3 Complete - Module 3 overview and objectives Page 1...

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Printable View of: Module 3 overview and objectives File: Overview Print Save to File Module 3: Manufacturing and the Environment Overview Manufacturing is one of the main sources of economic growth internationally, and a major contributor to current standards of living. In Australia, for example, over one million people are employed in manufacturing activity, one-sixth of the total workforce, and the manufacturing sector contributes over $12 billion annually to the economy, or one-fifth of Australia’s total export revenue from goods and services. There are also negative consequences of manufacturing activity: pollution (air, noise, water and soil), the generation of hazardous and general wastes, urban congestion and the risk of accidents from fires and chemical spills. More recently, attention has been focused on increased emissions of substances that damage the ozone layer and contribute to the ‘greenhouse effect’. The degradation of our planet has increased rapidly with population growth and technological advancement. The Australian environment is experiencing problems common to most countries today. These include: urban air pollution and the pollution of streams, lakes, estuaries and beaches caused by the large increase in agricultural chemicals, pesticides, industrialisation and the disposal of sewage from increasing populations. The establishment of environmental movements and increased public awareness about environmental problems have forced industry as well as governments to change their attitude towards environmental matters throughout the world. It is now recognised that it is everyone’s responsibility to find a balance between technological development and protecting the environment from further degradation in order to leave a cleaner environment to future generations. In the past, environmental protection was imposed on industries through government legislation. Today, more and more manufacturing industries are moving towards self-regulation to protect the environment. This trend is expected to continue in future because the public will demand cleaner industries. Therefore, a manufacturing technologist or an engineer must be aware of the environmental consequences of their production activities and the environmental regulations imposed on their activities. Australia faces a substantial environmental challenge. It has many unique groups of plants and animals not found on other continents. Soils are generally shallow and infertile and susceptible to erosion and salination. A large proportion of Australia’s land area is classified as arid or semi-arid because of its highly variable climatic conditions, characterised by low rainfall. The early European settlers ruthlessly cleared the forests for settlement and adopted cultivation and grazing practices brought with them from their homelands. Their poor knowledge about Australian soil and climatic conditions and ignorance of the role of trees in maintaining the water table and preventing soil degradation have left the present
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Module3 Complete - Module 3 overview and objectives Page 1...

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