Monday, May 9, 2011

Mankind Must Triumph Over Nature?

San Francisco Chronicle reported in Delta plan blasted over omissions by U.S. panel reported that
A widely watched plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta that purports to both revive collapsing fish species and ensure stable water supplies instead reads as a crude justification for a controversial 40-mile pipeline around the estuary, a panel of pre-eminent scientists convened by the Obama administration said Thursday.

What's more, after four years and $150 million, the draft plan has failed to define basic goals or analyze the potential impacts on the sensitive and failing ecosystem at the core of California's water system, according to the National Research Council, the research arm of the influential National Academy of Sciences.

The so-called Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the result of a collaboration of state, federal and local water agencies, is supposed to be a blueprint for the future of the delta, and its recommendations on building a peripheral canal or other water conveyance system are expected to be adopted by the state.

On Thursday, however, an esteemed group of biologists, engineers, hydrologists and legal scholars scolded the collaborators for their lack of scientific rigor and accused them of steering the outcome toward a contentious canal. California voters rejected a similar proposal in 1982, calling it a blatant water grab of Northern California's waters by Southern California interests.
In regardless if this is a blatant water grab or not, this project reeks the stench of Maoist slogan - Mankind Must Triumph Over Nature.

Engineers love to design and contractors love to build.  That's what they are trained to and that's how they make living and get rich.

However, try to build a canal or pipeline which would affect a great area and might jeopardize vulnerable fish and plant life is something we should not proceed unless we are sure of the impact.  But the study seemed like the rubber stamp People's Congress in China, which approved even more ambitious water projects - the finished Three Gorge Dam and the on-going South–North Water Transfer Project, which would be even more disruptive and more damaging than the Three Gorge Dam.  The only people who would benefit from such enormous endeavors are contractors and corrupt officials.

The Three Gorge Dam was approved in the assumption that water level would remain the same upstream and downstream, even in flooding season, therefore artificially reduced the number of people needed to be relocated.  Last year, after multiple attempts, they finally brought the water level behind the dam to the designed 175 meter and recently they had to reduced it to 162 meter, so as to "ensure the safety the the navigation downstream". 

The South–North Water Transfer Project would be just irresponsible and insane.

The spirit of "Mankind Must Triumph Over Nature" reached its zenith in 1950s during Great Leap Forward campaign, when science was make whore of politics.  Now, our country is eager to learn from China, our great creditor and competitor.  Mao makes a comeback in China and with the increasing influence of China, he will lead us move forward just as mightily.  If we cannot win in manufacture, science, and education, at least we can catch up with them in our determination to triumph over nature. 

During Great Leap Forward period (1958-61), Chinese people in the countryside working at night to produce steel.

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