Dr. David H.F. Liu passed away during the preparation of this revised edition.
He will be long remembered by his co-workers, and the readers of this handbook will carry his memory into the 21st Century
Engineers respond to the needs of society with technical innovations. Their tools are the basic sciences. Some engineers might end up working on these tools instead of working with them. Environmental engineers are in a privileged and challenging position, because their tools are the totality of man's scientific knowledge, and their target is nothing less than human survival through making man's peace with nature.
When, in 1974, I wrote the preface to the three-volume first edition of this handbook, we were in the middle of an energy crisis and the future looked bleak, I was worried and gloomy. Today, I look forward to the 21st Century with hope and confidence. I am optimistic because we have made progress in the last 22 years and I am also proud, because I know that this handbook made a small contribution to that progress. I am optimistic because we are beginning to understand that nature should not be conquered, but protected, that science and technology should not be allowed to evolve as "value-free" forces, but should be subordinated to serve human values and goals.
This second edition of the Environmental Engineers' Handbook contains most of the technical know-how needed to clean up the environment. Because the environment is a complex web, the straining of some of the strands affects the entire web. The single-volume presentation of this handbook recognizes this integrated nature of our environment, where the various forms of pollution are interrelated symptoms and therefore cannot be treated separately. Consequently, each handbook section is built upon and is supported by the others through extensive cross-referencing and subject indexes.
The contributors to this handbook came from all continents and their backgrounds cover not only engineering, but also legal, medical, agricultural, meteorological, biological and other fields of training. In addition to discussing the causes, effects, and remedies of pollution, this handbook also emphasizes reuse, recycling, and recovery. Nature does not cause pollution; by total recycling, nature makes resources out of all wastes. Our goal should be to learn from nature in this respect.
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