Paradigms Lost

1st Edition

Learning from Environmental Mistakes, Mishaps and Misdeeds

Print ISBN: 9780750678889
eBook ISBN: 9780080457963
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 9th November 2005
Page Count: 600
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Engineers and scientists have made great progress in advancing the understanding of the principles underlying environmental quality and public health. However, all too often, society and the scientific community do not realize the connections between environmental occurrences. In their haste to remedy a situation, they overlook lessons that could be learned to prevent future disasters. Paying attention to the past instructs us about the future.

Paradigms Lost combines the historical case perspective with credible and sound scientific explanations of key environmental disasters and problems. The author sorts through natural disasters and human mistakes from Love Canal, New York to Bhopal, India to provide larger lessons that can be applied by scientists, engineers and public safety officials. The analysis of these events includes viable alternatives for future generations.

Key Features

  • Includes alternative approaches to environmental issues from preventative measures to contingency plans

  • Richly annotated with sidebars, discussion boxes and generous examples from Exxon Valdez and Love Canal to Agent Orange and Bhopal

  • A usable tool for all professionals from lawyers to chemical engineers


Environmental Engineers, Civil Engineers, Chemical Engineers, Chemists, Plant Managers, Public Safety Administrators, Lawyers, Surveyors, Petroleum Engineers, Waste Managers, Military Personnel, Federal, State, and Local Environmental, Emergency Response, and Public Health Agencies

Table of Contents

Part I: New Science and New Paradigms Lessons Learned: A Case Approach to Environmental Problems Pollution Revisited Part II: Key Environmental Events in Media Something in the Air Watershed Events Landmark Cases By Way of Introduction Environmental Swords and Damocles Part III: Other Paradigms Dropping Acid and Heavy Metal Reactions Spaceship Earth Myths and Ideology: Perception versus Reality Just Environmental Decisions, Please Part IV: What is Next? Bottom Lines and Top of the Head Guesses Appendix 1: Equilibrium Appendix 2: Government Reorganizations Creating the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Appendix 3: Reliability in Environmental Decision Making Appendix 4: Principles of Environmental Persistence Appendix 5: Cancer Slope Factors Appendix 6: Equations for Calculating Lifetime Average Daily Exposure (LADD) for Various Routs of Exposure Appendix 7: Characterizing Environmental Risk Appendix 8: Risk-Based Contaminant Cleanup Example Appendix 9: Shannon Weiner Index Example Appendix 10: Useful Conversions in Atmospheric Chemistry INDEX


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“Vallero’s engaging, accessible prose mostly avoids the stiffness that often pervades books of this type, making it easier to digest the technical context and analysis.” — Civil Engineering, March 2006