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Boring platitudes in a time of need.

Today, I received a rather disappointing email from the ASME.  The Earthquake in Japan happened one week ago; it seems to have taken a whole week for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to muster the energy to cobble together a supremely insipid “official statement.”

Yo, ASME!  Why don’t you actually do something to help?

Here’s the letter, in its entirety.

Dear ASME Members,

I’d like to share the official ASME statement on Japan that we will be releasing later today.

On behalf of our members, volunteers and staff worldwide, ASME expresses its heartfelt sympathies and concerns to all those affected by the historic earthquake and tsunami causing major widespread damage in Japan, and the unfolding events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.  This disaster is truly unprecedented in its scope and nature, particularly to Japan’s transportation and energy infrastructure, including nuclear power, thermal power, hydro power, electric transmission, oil refining and beyond.  ASME will be monitoring events as they continue to emerge and will be collaborating with our colleagues in Japan and elsewhere to understand the dimensions of these tragic events. We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and the scale of destruction, and we want to acknowledge the valiant and selfless efforts being made by our engineering colleagues in Japan to ensure public safety, along with the many other workers and officials who are heroically responding to this tragedy.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese people at this difficult time.

Your collective efforts on behalf of ASME during this time are greatly appreciated.
Bob Simmons,
ASME President

Really?  Is that the best you can do Bob?  Platitudes and fuzzy statements of “collaboration?”

Why don’t you set up a way for ASME members to donate to relief efforts?  Why don’t you contribute to Engineers Without Borders?  Why don’t you actively address the concerns raised about nuclear plant safety?  Why don’t you do something?  People are dying and suffering, and after a whole week, all you can do is say how sorry you are?

With assets of over $116 million, you ought to be able to do something!

The ASME’s finger-twiddling is contemptible.  I’m so glad I gave up my membership.


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