An age of technological innovation is now over
By Paul Homewood
There was a letter to the Sunday Telegraph last week that was so good I really wanted to share it. (And, no, it was not from me!)
SIR – The deaths of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, and Neil Armstrong, the astronaut, could signal the end of a remarkable era of scientific and engineering achievement. It started about 200 years ago when James Watt and Robert Stephenson harnessed coal-fired steam power to drive engines and locomotives. This was followed by electricity, diesel engines, nuclear power, the Columbia space shuttle and Apple.
During that era of innovation, we progressed from horse and buggy to supersonic flight; from wood stoves to nuclear power; and from wind-jammers sailing to the New World to rocket-ships landing on the Moon. That era brought prosperity, longevity and a richer life to millions of people while creating the surpluses that allowed them to take better care of their environment.
We are now living in the after-glow of that era, relying on past achievements while environmental doom-mongers scare our children and reject our heritage. What will today’s Green generation be remembered for?
They have re-discovered wind power, wood energy and electric cars that were largely rejected a century ago; they spurn the energy potential of nuclear power, coal, oil and gas; and they would close our airports and lock up our resources.
One branch of NASA, the once-great risk-taking body that put Neil Armstrong on the moon, is now supporting an anti-carbon culture that advocates the closure of the whole coal industry.
The legacy of today’s doom-mongers will be measured by the number of dams not built, the number of mines, factories, farms, forests and fishing grounds closed, and the number of humans living in poverty.
Rosewood, Queensland, Australia
Thank you, Viv.