Folks do need to remember that this is California we're talking about, and politics, not science or engineering. For a fair number of years, California has been controlled by people who decide on an ideology and emotion, not reality and science. I'm old enough to remember vividly the 1964 elections. At that time, I was certainly young and left-leaning (although never a socialist). One of Barry Goldwater's many statements that were seized on with glee by the "intelligentsia" was his suggestion that we ought to saw California off from the "mainland" US and let is slowly float out to sea! In retrospect, sounds like another of the many things he said that were quite prescient! Going back even further, Everett Dirksen of Illinois, another Republican senator from the "old days," stated that "Politics is the art of the possible." Not anymore; it's become the art of demanding the unobtainable by bureaucratic fiat. As engineers, we must never lose sight of the basic fact that we work in the world of REALITY. I don't think they teach that anymore....
Nice. Totally agree. The main problem in my opinion is that the officials do not let the industry itself develop competitive products based on demand of the market. They flood us with worthless regulations that take away from real design and make us waste time. This creates the situation that our products are not useful, but they comply. They should get out of the way and let us design based on what needed, not what they think is needed.
It's bad enough for bureaucrats to set an arbitrary requirement. Too often they try to dictate the means one must use to meet it. When muliple bureacracies claim jurisdiction over an activity, regulations from one agency sometimes contradict those of another.
This comment reminds me of a story my father told me circa 1985 in which an EPA regulator instisted that the EPA would no longer tolerate their lax management of wastewater exiting the plant. He would no longer allow them to get away with a PH of 7, and would require them to attain PH 0. The history of techno-morons in government is long.
Rob, thank you for properly defining the acronyms at the beginning of your article. At the end, "The CEA urged the CEC..." sounded like Robin Williams in "Good Morning Vietnam", keeping the VP's visit on the QT from the VC...
Sorry, had to get that off my chest.
How much of an increase in efficiency is the CEC asking? Is it a quantum leap, or an evolutionary increment?
Many other countries are now mandating minimum energy efficiency standards (EU, China, Japan etc) that are well above those contemplated for the US. So what does this mean for US design and manufacturing? Any product designed for the US market cannot be sold in many other countries. This would give a competitive advantage to Taiwan, China, Japan & Korea, as they would be the leading edge design and manufacturing countries. The US would become the dumping ground for old junk that can’t be sold to the rest of the world.
Its sad to see a once great nation sinking into complacency and irrelevance, you can’t lead from the rear.
The situation is that the individuals making up all of these rules lack any sort of practical technical background, and that many of the decisions appear to be based only on emotions. Of course, that is to be expected in an area where things are "all about the experience".
The real tragedy is that industry does not have an effective means to challenge these rulemakers. The best challenge would have been if the auto comanies had all refused to produce cars meeting the original emmisions requirements, and all of the natives had been unable to purchase new cars. That would have forced the issue to a point where the votors could make a rational decision. Unfortunately, nobody was willing to stand up to the challenge, mostly because that state is a large market. Almost like caving in to a schoolyard bully, wasn't it?
Now comes the energy star, and instead of rationality we have jumps in requirements and all sorts of hoops to leap through, and not a lot of rational reason behind the regulations.
It's amazing that with the business climate / economy in the dumps that anybody would consider adding addtional regulation, which results in more costs for everybody involved. If this is something that needs to be discussed and weighed, fine, but start the discussions after the immediate mess is solved.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
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