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View Diary: BP Hearing - What The Traditional Media Did Not Report (210 comments)

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  •  Thanks for diary, if only folks read to the end (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Amber6541, Eric Nelson

    This was an accident. It was not done on purpose (all conspiracy theories about North Korean subs and torpedo’s aside), but it did happen. There is no way to with 100% surety prevent it from happening again. The magnitude of this spill is still unknown. In BP’s application they said the absolute worst case scenario would see 162,000 barrels spilled. At the current rate if it take the expected 90 days to drill a relief well there will be nearly three times that much oil spilled.

    Rushing to blame and lynch a "demon" (whether it is Cheney, Obama, Kim Jon Il or Xenu) only perpetuates the problem.

    The fact is that technology for drilling and extracting has far outstripped the pace of safety equipment. While there has been progress on dispersants other clean up items like skimmers and booms are basically the same as they were 20 years ago. If there is to be this kind of off-shore exploration and exploitation, there must be a requirement for the companies to develop the needed tools to address any problems in a more systematic and predictable way.

    As a society, we need to learn to do better than close the barn door after the horse has bolted, and put out fires after they burn out of control. We're all to blame - we tend to blow out the outrage meter after shit goes wrong. We rarely think prevention. We rarely support paying for prevention.

    This was just one of the hearings that went on yesterday and it is the start of this process not the end. It is to be hoped that future hearings and reporting will focus less on the attempt to pass blame and more on whether there is anything that can be done to make benefits of domestic off-shore oil production safe enough to balance the clearly evident and enormous risks. As of now it does not look very likely.

    Rushing to lynch a "bad guy" only feeds our delusion that life would be perfect if only we replaced a president, senator, representative, governor, mayor, ceo, etc.

    We rarely if ever address systems and root causes.

    Rushing to lynch ad "bad guy" also feeds the delusion that we are dealing with the issue.

    Think honestly - if this particular spill were less dire, and was capped within a day - we'd still be screaming for someone's head, probably Evil Big Oil - and, once someone paid, we'd be back to our old habits, finding the next thing to be outraged about.

    Of course, individuals need to be held accountable for any individual violations of the law through malice, fraud and/or neglect.

    But, if we don't focus on root causes, fix them, and make sure they don't happen again, we'll be in this mess again some time in the future.

    How many times have we reacted to war by electing a different leader? They end that particular war - but, a few years later, some other warmonger gets elected and launches a new one?

    How long have we been dealing with the need for alternative energy and conservation? Carter's sweaters, solar panels on the White House. Then, someone new sweeps into office and turns it all around.

    We will not solve our problems by changing the nameplates on the desks or the colors of the jerseys, if we don't address root causes.

    We will not solve out problems by pleading or appealing to good will, either. We need to focus on the systems that perpetuate the things we want to change, the systems that provide incentives for and reward the behavior we want to change.

    Punishing BP execs, or Wall Street moguls, will not change the system.

    Relying on the deterrence of the prospect of punishment is a strict father, theocratic conservative worldview.

    If we focus solely on ends, and neglect means (or, worse, cynically adopt the very means we abhor, because they seem to be working short term for the likes of the Tea Party), and are seduced by simplistic, short-term bandaids, things will never fundamentally change.

    Just as checking shoes in the airport does not address the root causes of terrorism, so screaming at BP execs, and even punishing them for actual violations, will not address the root problem, which is our need for oil.

    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

    by RandomActsOfReason on Wed May 12, 2010 at 10:01:26 AM PDT

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