Can we even really fathom how much $2.2 trillion even is?
The rock formerly known as Planet Pluto circles the sun at a frigid 4.58 billion miles (maximum distance of elliptical orbit). That's a mere 1/500th the value of money the ASCE recommends.
The entire DNA molecule in the human body is a mere 3 billion nucleotides, a mere .013% of the value of money the ASCE recommends.
That's approximately $370 dollars for every single human being on earth. It's $7333 dollars for every single American. It's $14,569 for every single tax return received for FY2007.
It's enough money to send another 26 Apollo missions to the moon.
It's enough to build the Empire State Building 55,000 more times. Or you could build the Taipei 101 another 1,500 times.
Anyway, that is, for lack of a better word, a CRAPLOAD of money.
And how environmentally sound are the ASCE recommendations? The Engineer's Code has been amended to include a "and the latest practices in sustainable design." clause in the creed, so it is worth investigating how much of what they are recommending is environmentally friendly.
Despite my earlier tongue-lashing of the ASCE survey, they do have some good ideas, like expanding mass transit, cleaning water through better treatment facilities, and refurbishing government buildings to new cleaner standards.
However, they do mention one idea, which I happen to consider my personal favorite engineering affront to nature: the dam.
The 2005 ASCE survey reports that of the 79,000 dams across the country, an estimated 3,500 of them are hazardous and in need of repair. However, I have to wonder how many of the 3,500 hazardous dams actually still serve a purpose. It is no secret that during the Great Depression the WPA and CCC built many thousands of those dams, with no conceivable purpose other than to keep men employed. Now those dams are in a state of disrepair, and so many have been built that "it would take 3 centuries to inspect [them]" said one Texas official.
Would it not possibly serve a higher purpose, both in terms of renewing the environment and saving money to survey these dams and determine which, if any, could be removed?
However, they should not be removed like this.
7 minutes ago