Climate change raises another important question: Who should pay the costs of prevention, mitigation, and adaptation? One compelling answer is the Beneficiary Pays Principle (BPP). Members of the industrialized world have been the dominant beneficiaries of the industrialization policies in the 19th and 20th century and it is only right that they pay most of the cost of mitigation, prevention, and adaptation.
Why should we try to prevent the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere from surpassing the current level of 400 ppm? Suppose that continued increases in the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere will have the predicted consequences–melting of the polar ice caps, a rise in sea level, flooding of islands and low-lying cities, more extreme weather events. Why is that bad?
The professional has a wide range of responsibilities in four primary areas: (1) to society, (2) to clients, (3)to employers, and (4) to his/her professional colleagues and fellow professionals.
The public has a right to expect ethical conduct of all professionals. The role of engineering and its impact on the health, welfare and safety of the public cannot be overstated. Ethical and professional conduct on the part of engineers requires an often delicate balance of moral reasoning, standards, legal relevance, safety, costs, benefits and risk assessment.
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