"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman
Thursday, January 13, 2011
John Monash - We Need You Now!
In watching the flood disaster unfolding in my home town I realise that the great builders and planners of the past have been replaced by men tiny in stature by comparison. These are the people now walking the public stage and sympathising with the victims and promising billions to repair damage , much of which could have been avoided by spending a fraction of that with proper planning. These are the people who will never say we f****d up in not protecting our community .These are the political wheeler dealers who have turned away from the true Government function of providing proper infrastructure for our community to a vote-buying money re-distribution role in which the John Monashes of our time have no place.
I reprint an excellent comment from AN Ditchfield on John Delingpole's blog,
(This is a comment from AN Ditchfield who was unable to get onto comments himself).....
NATURE IN THE RAW IS SELDOM MILD.
Caterpillar Tractor Company placed this warning on its advertisements decades ago, when environmental activists began to grab headlines by obstructing construction projects. The warning merits being placed as a caption of every photograph of the Queensland floods of 2011. After the 1974 floods, of equal magnitude, the common sense response was the design of a flood containment system. It was never built because the frivolous objections environmentalists prevailed against it.
It is a shame, and a sign of the times, that this should be happening in Australia, the land of John Monash, the gifted engineer who conceived multiple-use dams, for flood control, power generation, irrigation and waterways. In the 1920s, Monash presided over the Murray-Darling basin project to implement a concept that became the model for the celebrated works of the Tennessee Valley Authority. This was last gift of Monash to mankind. His previous ones were given as builder and as soldier. A century ago, Monash had won renown as a pioneer of the large-scale use of reinforced concrete for buildings, bridges, ports, dams, and irrigation pipe. He then turned his rational mind to warfare, as commander of the Australian forces in World War I, to devise the successful tactics that broke the deadlock of trench warfare. The innovations conceived by Monash put an end to the slaughter in the Hundred Day Campaign that ended on November 11 1918. He did not regard his military exploits as heroic deeds, but as a grim side of his life devoted to destruction instead of the construction he loved so much. His words were:
"From the far off days of 1914, when the first call came, until the last shot was fired, every day was filled with loathing, horror and distress. I deplored all the time the loss of precious life, and the waste of human effort. Nothing could have been more repugnant to me than the realisation of the dreadful inefficiency of, and the misspent energy of, war."
In his regard for human life Monash is the epitome of a practitioner of traditional religion, with its message:
Man is the lord and master of creation and nature was made to serve needs of mankind.
This has been overturned by a creed that worships a goddess Nature and excoriates the works of man and the very existence of man as blasphemy. Blame for losses due to Queensland floods should be placed on the followers of this evil religion that demands human sacrifices.