Thursday, August 02, 2007

Quote of the Day: Stephen Flynn

"The fact is that Americans have been squandering the infrastructure legacy bequeathed to us by earlier generations. Like the spoiled offspring of well-off parents, we behave as though we have no idea what is required to sustain the quality of our daily lives. Our electricity comes to us via a decades-old system of power generators, transformers and transmission lines—a system that has utility executives holding their collective breath on every hot day in July and August. We once had a transportation system that was the envy of the world. Now we are better known for our congested highways, second-rate ports, third-rate passenger trains and a primitive air traffic control system. Many of the great public works projects of the 20th century—dams and canal locks, bridges and tunnels, aquifers and aqueducts, and even the Eisenhower interstate highway system—are at or beyond their designed life span."
Stephen Flynn is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. The quote above is from an editorial Flynn wrote for Popular Mechanics, which comes via the City Pages' page of links about the 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis.

Also notable from the City Pages links page is the Google Earth map of the bridge -- before the collapse.

I was flabbergasted this morning to see the front pages of both the New York Post and the New York Daily News covered entirely by photos of the bridge wreckage -- I'm always surprised when those provincial New York rags dare cover fly-over territory, much less my own home towns.

It was also the top story on Fox 5 New York's 10 PM newscast last night, taking up half the broadcast, complete with a Minneapolis weather forecast. The Post's coverage may be more hysterical than any Minnesota media would dare: "DEATH ROAR AS BRIDGE FALLS" is the current headline, and the attention to the tragedy is so personal, you'd think it happened here.

The New York Times has the CNN footage of the bridge actually falling.


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