The American Society of Civil Engineers – Fail.

So, I received another invitation to join the American Society of Civil Engineers. The latest offer (received several times) has been to received two years membership for the price of one year. Presumably, I’d pay the regular price for years thereafter. I’ve already checked the cost/benefit analysis, and I can’t find any profit in the membership. The discount on publications doesn’t justify the expense. The local chapter isn’t worth my time, much less my money. The magazines and publications that come with the membership don’t provide solid engineering guidance for my practice. Overall, it’s money poorly spent.

On top of that, the partially completed form they sent me for the membership application included the wrong name and contact information. Not exactly confidence-boosting.

So, when next you hear about poor highways and infrastructure, remember, it’s brought to you by the American Society of Civil Engineers, where competence and accomplishment is subordinate to diversity and academic certifications.

Please, don’t take my word for it. Read about why civil engineers ought join ASCE here, and about ASCE policy statements here. My favorite policies may be found below. [Bold is mine.]

Here:

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports and encourages the equitable opportunity for participation of all people within the civil engineering profession without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or physical challenges[because construction sites aren’t physically challenging]

…Diversity is important to the future… the future workforce pool will be increasingly female and nonwhite [because…why?; also, why won’t the CE workforce be increasingly black to better represent under-represented African-Americans, specifically, or more gay or disabled?]. Progress has been made over the last several decades on acknowledging and addressing these matters, but there is still work to be done.

Here:

“[ASCE] recognizes… the need for social equity in the consumption of resources.  To achieve these objectives, ASCE supports the following implementation strategies: 

-Promote broad understanding of economic, environmental, political, social, and technical issues and processes as related to sustainable development;

-Advocate economic approaches that recognize natural resources and our environment as capital assets [belonging to ?];

Here:

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports the following …

-Establishing …plans at federal, state and local levels that promotes [sic] reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and timely adaptation to the effects of climate change…;

-Establishing …targets and time frames for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions;

-Incorporating …incentives [financial support] for the short term development and implementation of high efficiency and low or zero greenhouse gas emitting technologies and cost-effective carbon capture and storage of emissions …;

-Stimulating private investment in greenhouse gas reducing technologies by establishing a market value for greenhouse gas emissions over the long term; [cap and trade]

-Encouraging the use of …financial mechanisms [such as taxes and fees] to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and

-Encouraging actions by other countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. [Kyoto protocol.]

If current trends continue, by the end of this century atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations could be twice what they were at the beginning of the industrial revolution.  These increased concentrations could contribute to climate change, including severe precipitation events, increases in global average temperatures, droughts (and associated wildfires), floods, and rising sea levels.  With time, these changes could become more pronounced with attendant weather, disease, and national/global economic disruptions

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