Balancing Beauty |
I am grateful ENR covered the Millau Viaduct project (ENR 3/15 p. 24). It helps us all as engineers to see great achievement. Sharing our knowledge helps improve our profession.
As a civil engineer I am confronted by the gap between engineering and beauty and between cost and value on a daily basis. The Millau Viaduct perfectly captures the right balance. With the windy conditions, the rocky bottom, the enormous length and the requirements from the French government, the designers did a great job. The bridge of Millau is an engineering work on which we can be proud to have participated.
Fit To Be Tied
For a quarter-century the providers in this country have had to fight tooth and nail to keep the engine going. We receive half of what we ask for at twice the price and are excoriated even as we keep the wheels turning.
In California, we pay twice the going rate for electricity because the voters, on advice of the natterers and their progressive lecturers, have taken away the authority of utilities to determine future needs and plan and build for them. I pay half again the price for gasoline because the greenies insist on some voodoo admixture that accomplishes nothing except poisoning my groundwater. And I try to survive in a business climate where, in effect, it is a misdemeanor to open a business, a felony to hire anyone and a capital crime to make a profit.
Let California and the country freeze in the dark. No more compromise to the Luddites and the Gaia-worshippers and the Sustainable Simpletons. No more trade-offs. Let them grab the handle and pump for a while so the thirsty public can see what they can deliver.
I would like to express my deepest appreciation to Engineering News-Record for the superb manner in which you recognized Col. Gregg Martin. His leadership and engineering expertise significantly contributed to our nations military success in Iraq. Moreover, his innumerable civil reconstruction initiatives merit richly deserved praise for delivering hope of a better future for the Iraqi people.
I can think of no one more deserving of your Award of Excellence than this outstanding American soldier (ENR 4/5 p. 30). In receiving this award, Gregg represents all the military engineers who selflessly serve our nation. Words cannot properly express the gratitude they so abundantly deserve.
May 17, 2004