Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Comparison

Y'all know I don't like to compare European solutions to American problems, but it is truly an embarassment that we, the greatest nation ever envisioned by humankind, can get out-engineered by the Netherlands.

We are the nation who, thoughout our history and with less technology than today, built the Erie Canal, the Transcontinental Railroad, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Golden Gate, the New York Subway system, the Hoover Dam, the Panama Canal, the Tennesse Valley Authority, the Eisenhower Interstate system, and the Apollo Program that put men on the Moon. And today, we can't build a tunnel underneath Boston or come up with an efficient flood control system.

9 comments:

Dante said...

The Netherlands have come a long way from little boys sticking their fingers in dikes but they've kind of had to. If the Mississippi Delta was its own nation, it would probably have similar priorities and similar engineering feats in the area of storm protection.

Fishplate said...

What is the cost of building a city in an untenable position?

And what about the Old River Control Structure? We made that work, but at what cost?

Every time we try to divert Nature, we end up embarassed...

petallic said...

Fishplate, your post reminded me of a friend of mine. She and I were standing on a great wall in Europe somewhere, watching the waves crash against said wall and she turned to me and said, "You know, it makes you wonder about the people who built this wall. I mean, why not just move inland?"

Oversimplified, I realize, seeing as the wall probably served a military purpose, but her point is apropos. Diverting nature just seems silly when there are alternatives.

ruby booth said...

Pat, Holland was pushing back the ocean, when our founding father's parents and grandparents were still smashing out church windows and smuggling goods to the Netherlands in little boats. If you are going count being behind Holland as an embarassment, we've been red faced a long time. As far as I can tell they have us beat not only on pushing back the ocean, but also on free enterprise and freedom of religon by quite a few years.

petallic said...

They also kick our asses on bicycle-friendly roads, parking lots for bicycles, and general fitness. I've never seen so many bicycles in my life. I can't imagine how they even find their own in a sea of handlebars and metal.

liberalandproud said...

I vaguely remember seeing a lot of bicycles when I was in Amsterdam. Of course, that's about all I remember ; )

GP said...

Holland is also the only other country in the world that celebrates 4th of July. That makes them alright in my book.

nikka said...

the dutch have been out-engineering everyone when it comes to water control because the country has been built on the ocean floor for centuries. rather than feeling bad about the dutch kicking our butts, we should be learning from them. they've got a lot to teach us in that department, and they really, really want to help.

another dutch trick that looks good is floating homes, which looks like a perfect solution for the more threatened neighborhoods in new orleans.

Patrick Armstrong said...

Well, that's why the title of the article I linked to primarily was "Let's hire the Dutch..."

I didn't know they celebrated the 4th of July. Is it for some obscure Dutch holiday or are they happy we kicked the Bangers and Mash crowd back to the home island?