Thursday, June 3, 2010
Over on AdPulp, I see where a dude from Crispin is taking an inordinate amount of shit from anon commenters trashing the idea of coming up with ideas to stop the damn leak. It’s not about any one agency. For an industry that’s all about an idea can come from anywhere, why not throw different minds at the problem?
Wunderkind PhDs. Movie stars. Creatives. Whoever. Have at it.
What jumps out are a few solutions that seek to offset the damage people cause the planet through future pay it forward efforts in other areas. Those are an interesting approach, but I’m looking at focusing on prevention first though.
In other industries like transportation, accidents generally result in safety improvements for future vehicle designs, resulting in a better chance for survivability. Safer cars, better building materials, less deaths, and so on, right?
So why does oil exploration, drilling and its subsequent transportation seem to be behind the curve, especially when it comes to oil spills.
Once this thing is capped, we’ll kick ass at figuring out exactly what went wrong, down to the minute, the scrap piece of .0024” metal, the whatever. We’ll end up knowing incredible details after Congress releases another 1,290 page report in two years—a report nobody will read.
But learning that forward to prevent the next next time? Yeah, good luck.
Looking at the events leading up to any tragedy and it’s almost never about failure of the equipment as it is human failure. The Coast Guard had doubts three years ago of this type of drilling. There was a heated argument between a BP official and the oil rig crew the day of the explosion. BP has a history of spills. Possible pressure from BP?
Yet we only do something after the fact. Don’t most man-made events usually come down to human nature, if not human error? The Exxon Valdez accident did. What should have been the equivalent of a tram ride at Disney become the second largest ecological disaster in U.S. history.
The insight to me here isn’t that we need better equipment or technology, it’s that we need to focus on the human element more and do what’s right—not just what’s right for business. No matter what, this all comes down to business, not an inability to cap a well.
Cool ideas that nobody thought of before usually take a backseat to capitalism: Ensure the company is not only up and running, but profitable with as little overhead as possible.
Then there’s the issue of, wait for it, BP’s brand.
According to Ken Wheaton, there’s now a partial identity for the fake BPGlobalPR account on Twitter that keeps beating the shit out of them. We talked with Harry Webber on this week’s AdVerve, and who thinks BP will not only survive, but end up failing to come through on restitution. I disagree and think they won’t likely survive, at least in their current incarnation.
We’re probably both right. ExxonMobil is almost out of the service station biz. BP could easily do the same thing if this heads south for them. And, based on how Mobil was able to knock a $5 billion award down to just 10% of that total. You could easily see BP lawyers trying the same approach, especially with what will surely be a ton of lawsuits headed their way.
Focus on preventing those factors that came together in the first place to cause the problem; the rest will take care of itself, no?
So. That. It. Never. Happens...