Sunday, June 13, 2010

Can BP "speed it up"?

I just caught this headline at Yahoo:

Coast Guard to BP: Speed it up, stop the spill (AP)

"Crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill washes ashore in Orange Beach, Ala., Saturday, June 12, 2010. Large amounts of the oil battered the Alabama coast, leaving deposits of the slick mess some 4-6 inches thick on the beach in some parts. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)AP - The Coast Guard has demanded that BP step up its efforts to contain the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico by the end of the weekend, telling the British oil giant that its slow pace in stopping the spill is becoming increasingly alarming as the disaster fouled the coastline in ugly new ways Saturday."

And I find myself wondering: could it really be possible that BP is not expending all possible effort and expense, that they are not working as hard and as smart as they can to fix the problem?

They've certainly been trying some massive, difficult things - and failing.

I tend to see things this way: we've reached a dangerous and awkward point in our evolution and development as a species. We have at our disposal incredible technical skills, allowing us to do all sorts of amazing things. But we haven't yet developed a sufficiently sophisticated moral framework in which to apply our awesome skills.

As a result, we now find ourselves doing things to ourselves and our world that are beyond our capabilities to fix.

Well, in that case, I hope that BP has in fact been slacking all this time and now they will work harder and fix the problem. Yeah, right.


Steven Feuerstein said...

Well, BP answered my question yesterday. After the Coast Guard pressed it to try harder, BP announced it had placed cameras within the billowing gush of escaping oil so that the Feds could measure the flow more accurately. And now they have stepped up to the plate with a more aggressive plan to capture the oil.

So...BP could have done more and did not, likely so they could hide how much oil had flowed out, minimizing their later liability.

Joel Garry said...

And then they tried so hard - they had so many robots one of them knocked the cap right off.

Of course, some people think the original problem was caused by corner cutting to meet deadlines and improve profitability. As Seth Godin put it in his blog about deadlines: "3. Deadlines make people do dumb things..."

word: obilitym