Engineers. I can't help admire what they do but of all the intelligent people in the world those with the lowest social skills tend to be engineers. And the lowest members of that particular gene pool are invariably mechanical engineers. You probably remember them from your university days. The mechanical engineers were the ones who spent their vacations stripping down and rebuilding a car, a job that you could have told them would soon be replaced by robots. They wore college scarves and sweatshirts, grew beards and you just knew that they were destined to spend a career in one of the less exciting metal-bashing industries.
But they were usually competent at what they did which is why it was interesting to see that they had published a report setting out a range of potential geo-engineering options to cool the planet, the foremost being:
- Artificial trees - machines that can remove CO2 from the atmosphere like trees for sequestration
- Algae-coated buildings - letting the slime grow on buildings and using it as a biofuel.
- Reflective buildings - increasing the albedo and reflectivity of the built environment.
So I decided to download the 1.8Mb PDF to find out what they were upto, only to discover that even in my relatively powerful computer the obese code that is the latest version of Adobe Reader keels over and grinds to a halt when confronted with the engineer's relatively modestly sized report. Even a little tweaking to switch off all the images leaves the text of the file dripping onto the screen before it seizes up completely. I don't think my copy of Adobe Reader is any different to anybody else's, so heaven knows what happened to IMechE's Total Quality Manegement or ISO 9001 doodads.
Sorry guys, I might have been interested, but if you can't learn to present your case in a form that can be read by your audience, don't be surprised if we dismiss you as a bunch of socially autistic geeks.