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Crude Offender

FlowingData makes it clear that compared to even the low standards of other oil companies, BP is in a class of its own for negligence and disregard for the safety of its workers and of its wells. 



In The Sunday Times, Andrew Sullivan lets off some steam. (Whole column worth reading)

At first blush, the onslaught against BP does seem a little much. But once you examine its recent record, the cornercutting and recklessness that precipitated this calamity, and the company’s enmeshment with the regulators who are supposed to be keeping watch … well, you tend to get more angry, not less. Take a simple comparison with other multinational oil companies. Over the past three years, the US government department that monitors compliance with health and safety regulations has cited several companies for negligence or corner-cutting. Sunoco and ConocoPhillips have had eight “egregious, wilful” safety violations apiece. Citgo had two. Exxon had one. BP had … 760.

[…]

Alas, what won’t change is the oil addiction that has forced the US to drill deeper and deeper in more and more treacherous waters, where techniques carry more risks precisely because the terrain is brand new. If you want to assign real, structural blame, it belongs in the end to the American people, who simply refuse to wean themselves off carbon and want to continue having the cheapest petrol in the West. This habit bolsters America’s enemies, empowers oil-rich Islamic states and is slowly cooking the planet. 

Sullivan again endorses my favorite solution to our oil addition: a carbon tax


There is plenty to be upset about in this whole fiasco, but certainly one of those things isn’t Obama’s tone or emotion. Here’s Clive Crook in the Financial Times.

The criticism of Mr Obama’s handling of the oil spill has been especially and flamboyantly unreasonable. So far as capping the leak is concerned, the relevant expertise resides with BP and the other oil companies. The notion that they should be “pushed aside” is risible. In any case, of course, the administration is in charge – overseeing the operation, as opposed to directing it in detail, which is as it should be. A deepwater drilling moratorium is in place and a thoroughgoing review of the regulatory regime is under way. The White House has been active in mobilising resources to contain damage to the coastline.

[…]

The view seems to be that staying calm in a crisis is all very well, except in a crisis. Then, the president must radiate rage and fear, pretend to direct operations, race about uselessly, weeping and hugging as he goes, doing stuff that will not help and might make things worse. 

Crook has been very reasonable about this issue from early on. I’m sure he’d appreciate this video.


(video via Ta-Nehisi Coates)
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St. Patrick’s Day Inspired News

March 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Times Online:

The decline of Catholic Ireland, for decades the Pope’s favourite bastion of faith in Europe, has been regularly predicted, as the economic successes of the Celtic Tiger brought growing secularisation. But new figures have starkly set out the fate of the Irish priesthood if action is not taken by the Church to reverse the trend.

CBS News:

The brewer explained the key to pouring the drink is to do it in two parts. He said you should aim the beer flow on an angle into the glass (on a Guinness glass he recommended aiming for the harp insignia on its side). And to top off the pint, gently pour the beer down the center of the glass for a frothy foam top. 

Some Crazy Irishman’s Solution to Solve Poverty Related Problems:

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.

Drinking with Hitch

The Times Online published an excerpt from Christopher Hitchens’ autobiography, Hitch-22.

Alcohol makes other people less boring and food less bland and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing. The only worthwhile miracle in the New Testament — the transmutation of water into wine during the wedding at Cana — is a tribute to the persistence of Hellenism in an otherwise austere Judaea. The same applies to the seder at Passover, which is obviously modelled on the Platonic symposium: questions are asked (especially of the young) while wine is circulated.

No better form of sodality has ever been devised: at Oxford one was positively expected to take wine during tutorials. The tongue must be untied.

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