Monday, May 24, 2010

Dirty Lessons

One of the more disappointing things about being a skeptic is not being able to blindly overlook the glaring flaws of those who ideologically agree with me. There have been a host of nutty ideas presented in the hopes of stemming the oil spill in the gulf. I know they’re all well intended, but…

BP has tried a handful of ill-conceived schemes. Kevin Costner is toting a machine that he claims will separate oil from water. I even saw a video with farmers trying to sell their surplus hay as oil sponges.

A good heart is no substitute for a decent bullshit detector.

The sad truth is, BP is the most capable company for the job when it comes to stopping the problem. They are the largest international oil corporation, and they have the greatest deep-water capability. The problem is, they also have a vested interest in protecting their assets and turning a profit. How do I know they are doing their best to protect the environment and the thousands (if not millions) of jobs outside the oil industry which will be destroyed as a result?

Sometimes the best man for the job… actually isn’t.

At some point the government needs to step in. Maybe that time was days or weeks ago, maybe it is fast approaching, but I do know BP seems to be taking its sweet time. There’s no fire under their ass. They fear nothing, which is why we’re in this situation in the first place: because those who fear nothing never bother to plan for the worst.

Ambition can so easily get the better of caution.


  1. You have to be very careful with the government though. In general they tend to underthink short term solutions which means they neither work now or in the future. Sometimes they get things right - but it is hit or miss.

    It would be better if there was regulation only to be truthful and complete in the claims you make and have the private sector choose to bye the better items.

  2. s/bye/buy/
    sorry for my misspelling.

  3. Does that mean we don't have to be careful what BP does? They did not underthink the situation?How did we get in the mess? I'm confused.

  4. Punch: I have found it useless to try to convince the libertarian crowd that private enterprise is anything but the shining beacon of liberty from whence all goodness flows. To them, government will probably always be the scapegoat. It's an interesting ideology that the anti-free market corporations have managed to sell to them.


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