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Old 05-05-2013, 08:07 PM   #19
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Earth Division
Posts: 24,365

Princes of Tara

Originally Posted by cutthemdown View Post
To be on the energy and natural resources board what qualifications would you desire Houghtam? To not have any feelings that say went against what a geologist would say? Just curious.
Most people who work in natural resource management and deal with aspects regarding resources and sustainability for government have some sort of soil science degree that is highly similar to geology. In fact, most of them have to take a lot of geology coursework. I work with these guys every day and they are damn smart. (I do G.I.S. work, so my stuff is a little bit different, but a lot of them use the work that I do to go out and do theres.)

There are going to be people in the same field, who do the same job and have same backgrounds that disagree, especially on cost-benefit analysis regarding the work they do. I see it every day and it is amazing to see how different everyone is with their opinions on the issues we deal with. It is cool to that though, because those voices and wide ranges of input help us be successful.

With the conservation service, you have geologists, soil scientists, anthropologists, political scientists, engineers, economists, etc. to all make it run effectively. A lot of these guys destroyed it in the private sector, but the wages here are good, benefits are awesome and they get a lot of perks. It isn't what you had stated. It is one of the reasons why they have done so well being under budget and not having to go through furlough and get rid of workers because they realize what it takes to make things run efficiently. Easily one of the most efficient departments there is, IMHO -- the diversity there helps.

These are the people that should be having a voice on committees, but most of them never desire to get into politics because they see how corrupt things are on a first-level basis every time they step into the office or go out into the field. They just do their part at what they can do at an individual and local level, because one man ain't ever gonna change what is done at the top.

Originally Posted by cutthemdown View Post
I can see why you would not want a wonderlic type test to run for office. About half the stupid liberals in Congress would fail it. Also we would all be shocked to see how utterly stupid half the politicians we like are. My dad was a great EE and sent things into space working for JPL, Corning, Perkin Elmer and others in a long career.

he always told me the smartest and best our country has to offer go into the private sector. The dumb ones who can't cut it in their field go into politics.
If there was a voter litmus test for Congress, I doubt that most of the liberals would fail. If you look at the degrees of the people in Congress, a majority of them are coming from backgrounds in law, political science and history. This is also true of professional legislatures (states like NY, etc.) as opposed to citizen-ran legislatures that you find in the Midwest. They know what politics is about and they understand the concepts regarding them. That doesn't mean they are smart in other areas, but when it comes to understanding civics from an educated standpoint, that isn't really an issue.

I think that having career politicians and people who strictly aspire to do that is a problem, but most average, run-of-the-mill people who have backgrounds in things like engineering, agriculture, etc. can't afford to pony up the dough and run for elected office. There are hardly, if any, middle-class people in Congress. There sure ain't **** any poor people. It takes money to get into that sort of thing, and unfortunately people don't have it.

I always thought my dad should have ran for something at some point in time. Over 30+ years as an engineer for the government, and five years prior in the private. Knows his stuff. Still haven't been able to replace him post-retirement. When Obama came into office, they had a suggestion to all federal workers on how they could improve things and make stuff more cost effective or efficient. If your suggestion was chosen, you'd get some sort of reward. My dad wrote an essay on energy-cost initiatives (with estimates based on SD offices alone) that would translate into millions in savings per year. It involved making it mandatory to have sensors in every federal building that monitored energy output and reduced levels and intake of electricity, etc. when buildings were either empty or vacant for the weekend. Also having **** in substations and generators that could reduce overall costs. Stuff my dad realized as an engineer that was being wasted every day and believed we could improve upon. That idea never got taken up, but they ended up giving it to some stupid person who wanted to improve communication and relation in the workplace. Kinda silly.

Hope my dad ends up writing a book on revamping the energy grid in America, because he did so much work with that **** the past three decades, I couldn't think of a better person to give policy ideas on it. He also knows a lot about wind turbines and renewable energy since he worked on installation and oversight with those too.
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