Civil engineering is one of the most proficient professions in the field of engineering. This is because it is linked to development, that is, the construction of roads, buildings and even bridges. The input of a civil engineer is one that cannot be neglected but has to be inspected with much interest. The errors that may suffice in construction and buildings are enormous and can claim many lives. This paper aims at meticulously analyzing the book, “Encounters with the Archdruid” by John McPhee in light of civil engineering.
Construction and mining works are at the docket of the civil engineer. The various minerals mined for the processing of metals fall directly at the docket of the civil engineer. This includes knowing the stability of a ground to hold the construction or foundation, the soil type, and the type of metal. John McPhee presents a form of different viewpoints between David Browler and some characters in his book including; Charles Park, Charles Fraser and Floyd Dominy. David Browler’s name gains prominence for his great efforts to environmental conservation and development.
Development is a civil engineers specialty. Browler confronts Floyd Dominy regarding the construction of a dam along the Glen Canyon. This, according to Browler is the greatest mistake an individual can ever do. Although both characters are pragmatists, their stances are valid but looking at the extreme ends. On one end, Browler is an environmental conservationist who would end at nothing to stop the pollution done to the environment and on the other, Floyd Dominy – the commissioner of the United States Bureau of reclamation relishes the damming of rivers. Both personalities are developmental oriented but the ecosystem has to be a primary concern.
Most works of civil engineers are disastrous to the environment. Such include the cutting down of trees and construction of roads and the use of mineral resources. David Browler openly criticizes the beliefs of Charles Fraser who is a real estate developer. He managed to convince Fraser to sell development of Hilton Head Island to the national Park foundation. There ought to be coordination between the environmentalists and the civil engineers to regulate development at a pace that does not harm the environment.
Finally, Browler’s campaign hits its peak when he says, “I believe in the wilderness for itself alone (McPhee, 1971, P.39).” These words were meant to criticize the move of Charles Park of concealing the real value of mineral reserves and preserving them for the future. The civil engineers therefore, ought to give clear financial standing of the current value of real estates and the projects that they tackle. All engagements in projects and contracts ought to be made in true light without concealing or performing counter actions that are against the conditions of the contract that they tackle.
John McPhee provides a light on the responsibilities of an engineer and environmentalist. The book is a masterpiece posing as a challenge to both the environmentalists and the engineers. All engagements, especially those regarding developments, should be done in due consideration of the environmental impacts as well as the developmental facets. This book pins the civil engineers to their responsibility to the environment and knowledge that the environment stands for self and therefore its conservation is a primary concern.
McPhee, John. Encounters With The Archdruid. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1971. Print.