Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Fix-It Faith

"If we've learned anything so far about the Gulf of Mexico, it's that it contains surprises. An operator needs to create the capability to respond to the unexpected." Prophetic words in 2005 from David Eyton, then vice president for BP's deepwater developments in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil companies "did somewhat underestimate the full nature of the challenges we were taking on in the deep waters of the gulf."
BP - Bloody Pathetic!
BP - Bloody Pathetic!
Still, he was optimistic that BP's risk management expertise and new technologies would play a "critical role" in allowing the company to triumph over nature’s daunting obstacles. As we now know, it did not turn out that way.
As BP struggles with the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, it's clear that the pressure to dig deeper and faster has outpaced the knowledge about how to do that safely.
Americans have long held a solid belief that technology will save them. A US survey in 1999 found 81% believed there would be a cure for cancer, 76% felt they would put men on Mars. And yet, as they watch this latest drama unfold, it's obvious their blind faith in technology is perhaps misplaced.
Indeed, think of all the planes grounded in northern Europe last month, after the Icelandic volcano eruption. Many passengers couldn't believe there was no 'fix-it'. There was widespread outrage over something completely out of Man's hands.
Sometimes the cavalry just doesn't make it in time...
( Elisabeth Rosenthal's full article in the NY Times.)

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