Ah, drifting to the sea
Don't buy it at the station,
You can have it now for free
Just come on down to the shoreline
Where the water used to be
--Steve Forbert, "The Oil Song"
The BP oil spill gets enough commentary that I don't have much to add to the outpouring of words. Suffice it to say, I think the whole affair represents the simple logic of capitalism, namely, profit ahead of all else with costs minimized in every way possible. It also clearly demonstrates the complete inability of public entities to curb that relentless drive for profit.
Far better commentary may be found at Slate where William Saletan points out the absurdity of attempting highly complex, risky technical procedures in an extreme environment where a human being cannot survive. Ranger Against War takes a slightly different perspective, namely that attempting highly complex, risky technical procedures without fully understanding and preparing for possible catastrophic consequences is a fool's errand.
Of course, attempting highly complex, risky technical procedures is absolutely essential if we are to satisfy our addiction to petroleum. Like a desperate junkie, we push the envelop to keep the drug flowing. The junkie squanders whatever resources he or she has and then taking ever more risks to find a fix. So do we as petroleum becomes ever more scarce.
Perhaps we should have listened to Jimmy Carter. Or Steve.
Labels: last refuge of scoundrels