Working in PR for engineering and manufacturing companies present opportunities to see products and processes in development. It never ceases to amaze me to see the skill, patience and perseverance with which engineers advance and perfect products we use in our everyday lives.
Nothing would exist without engineers and the entrepreneurs that bring them together to create our world. And yes this is not a perfect world so it includes the good, the bad and the ugly.
It maybe a reflection of my personal value system, but I don’t believe engineers, from apprentices to time-served skilled workers, get nearly enough credit. Transport, agriculture, buildings, entertainment, communication, sanitation, fashion, healthcare – everything we take for granted would not be possible without the products that are engineered for these purposes.
I find this is especially important when there is finally growing awareness of our impact on the planet. Some strong science suggests climate change is likely part of the planet’s natural cycle over geological time. However, we don’t have to make it worse and we don’t have to contribute even more to pollution and poison ourselves.
I believe it will be inventive engineers and entrepreneurs who, with the just support of politicians, financial institutions and the push of the people, will help us the most in mitigating the worst of what may happen, notwithstanding the lack of action to date.
Hollywood is great at turning out superhero movie after superhero movie. Maybe it is time for Solarwoman, The PlasticEater, Obsolescence Obliterated or even Carbon Neutral Returns, featuring the epic struggles that many engineers are now engaging in to deliver a better world. Of course there are anti-heroes in every story, engineers engaged in not so desirable pursuits. For me this part is down to us – in a democratic system, each of us is responsible to tell our politicians and financial institutions that we want them to back the heroes.
I am well aware the problems are more deep rooted and complex than I am presenting here. But taking the ‘complexity’ argument as a reason to delay change is equivalent to the stasis of a rabbit being caught in bright headlights. The outcome will not be good.
Fantastic, at a time of Brexit news saturation, that Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough, are keeping the need for change on the agenda. Now let’s hear three cheers for engineers and apply pressure for the investment they need to get the job done. We need them now more than ever or we all could have a lead role in a disaster movie.