Saturday, May 22, 2010

Oil Spill Creates Difficult Conundrum

Here's an ironic twist of events - The BP Oil Spill in the Gul is pumping oil out like Congress is spending money, and the mad rush is on for spill booms to help contain the mess. Most booms are made from PVC coated polyester, and the PVC they are made from is public enemy number one on the consumer end. Nike and other highly visible consumer companies have an all-out ban on the substance, which makes the use in this case somewhat ironic, since we are trying to limit an environmental disaster by producing something that is seen to be an environmental disaster. Hmmm.

This is very often the case, and regularly debated when humans attempt to mitigate their environmental impact - What we attempt to solve a problem with actually gives birth to another. Look at the hybrid car battery. While the impact of the emissions of the vehicle is reduced, the toxic disposal and creation of the battery spawns an entirely new set of complicated issues. We, as humans, tend to believe we have all the answers using science and our complex data models of information, yet we fail, or refuse, to admit that so often our theories and hypothesies are faulty. Take the ozone layer phenomena. Remember when the Earth wouldn't exist as we know it due to solar radiation? Well, now scientists are stating that human reduction of ozone depleting chemicals has helped stabilize the ozone, but has actually become a proponent of global warming - our newest poster-child for the masses.

There is no question we need to continue to find solutions to our problems, and a best effort using the tools of science and research are critical, however our egos need to be set aside, sensationalism reduced, the media controlled if possible, and the special interests put in their place. A huge task at hand I might add. Kind of like containing an oil spill.

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