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Civil unrest

Letters

I get more worried each week I read NCE. Stories about nuclear power, road building, huge skycrapers and water shortages convince me that we are tackling the planet's problems in the wrong way.

Take energy, for example.

Perhaps we need to get away from a national power grid and become more locally self-reliant? We have two wind turbines operating by the River Thames at Rainham and they fit in with the landscape and generate power for local business.

This idea extends to new and refurbished buildings being made less energydependant and even generating their own power, harvesting their own water and treating their own sewage.

On transport, traffic growth still continues, along with pollution, noise, injury and death. We are forced into using the 'local' hypermarket to get our groceries by car. This all puts demands on our precious energy resource.

We are even having to import our engineers from abroad - often from developing nations with their own problems. Local and national government use armies of international consultants and contractors which clock up huge energy bills through transport, and require maintenance of large head offices etc.

We as engineers can make the difference, but it seems this is going to only happen from the ground up: and that is where the ICE and people like Antony Oliver writing in NCE can make the difference.

We need to address our local problems before we can tackle the world's, and we must become more vocal with politicians and those in charge.

Mark Philpotts (M), mark. philpotts@ntlworld.com

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