Friday, July 16, 2010

Oil Spill: Responsibility and Sensibility

Alright, it has been too long. I hope to pick up the thread a little more regularly.

So even in my attempt to avoid the news, a few issues you just can’t ignore. The BP oil leak is the biggest one. With my contempt for our persistence on this practice without any real movement towards discontinuation is certainly not hidden in these posts. An event like this one just frustrates me further.

That said, I have to shake my head that when it happened and the world seems to have been surprised. My initial reaction was, “well no shit”. It was bound to happen. Yes the chances were miniscule, but real all the same. I think what did take me by surprise was that there was no contingency plan to quickly reduce the impact.

In my day to day, we have to often make decisions that could potentially impact thousands of lives. Now the actual chances are often very minuscule. However, that doesn’t stop us from having a “risk assessment” meeting where these risks are assessed. An approach to minimize those risks and a contingency plan in case the worst case scenario should occur are developed. There are events that happen on a regular basis that a meeting isn’t needed but the results of the initial assessment are attached and understood. Much like these oil platforms are scattered around the world and the process has become common.

I am just beside myself that there was no plan to address this potential danger and the factions of the government that license these companies to do this didn’t require one. But it isn’t hard to see how that much money clouds the judgment to require such formalities.

I am not amazed at the publics reaction. However, it is clueless and ignorant as usual in these types of situation. Everybody is in an uproar over this spill. But, really what is the other option. Buying our oil from other countries? Only drilling in shallower more manageable beds? This would drive the price of an American gallon of gasoline sky high. That of course would choke our economy and cause everybody to think the sitting president was not doing their job to the best interest of the voting public. So that same public that is now collectively in an uproar over the oil spill would instead be throwing their voting interest behind the candidate that screamed "Drill baby drill". The president had to “show” more openly his contempt for that incident. Because Americans can only believe you are angry if they see you making irrational and non functional body movements.

So what was the way to avoid this catastrophe should have been avoided? The most obvious action should have been that every license awarded to drill was awarded to contractor who had a proven contingency plan in order to stop any leak. But that would have been seen as congress impeding business.

This situation epitomizes the trait of a free enterprise/ democratic society that is both its greatest asset and most dangerous fault. When we have a problem that needs solved, there is great inspiration to find a solution. However, as that solution becomes common, acceptable, and cheap, better solutions have a nearly impossible task of entering the market. We all know "green energy" is a great substitute and at least will reduce the impact that fossil fuels put on our environment, safety, and economy. Yet, it is "too expensive" to use such technology. In a system not driven by financial reward, benefit of the community would drive solutions.

I have taken awhile to post on this. This morning I was glad. I heard a comment that highlights another relative facet of this issue. A lady was on CNN begging President Obamma to reinstate the drilling privileges (lift the ban) on the existing BP oil rigs. This exemplifies the problem and the frustration I have with our culture. “Lady, look out at the ocean, look at what your husband did.” Yet the vast majority of us do not see a connection between what we do as an occupation and its adverse affect on the greater community. We consider the fact that "we are just doing our job" and "following orders" absolves us from responsibility. This kind of mentality has lead to heinous acts of violence and destruction lead against humanity.

This "self entitlement" to employment no matter what the cost is at the core of all I find offensive about our western culture. It was only last year that "roughnecks" were being glamorized with their own TV show. They talked about the dangers to their life and limb. But the guys who did the job were "willing to risk it all to strike 'Black Gold'". The general population are too shallow in the intellectual pool to realize they had made a livelihood off a destructive force. They had for many generations. The money generated allowed more offspring who then needed to rely on the economic revenue of this destructive force. It is a parasites mentality. We all know what happens to both the parasite and the host every time.

Irresponsibility and lack of foresight runs from top to bottom of this issue. But there is just sooo much money involved in ignoring the dangers, impact, and contingencies. Every single one of us who has to pump gas into our vehicles to get to work share some responsibility to that destructive incident in the gulf.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He's back! Woo-hoo!

L-O-L! L-O-L! L-O-L! L-O-L!

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