Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Shout a little less

Posted on | July 15, 2010 | 3 Comments

mikethumbI suppose with half a million tons of oil so far ejected into the Gulf of Mexico one is entitled to feel pretty angry with the response. Just as long as it is flowing, nobody will ever have done enough to mitigate its effects.

British Television, which has become bored with showing pictures of the same oiled pelican night after night, homed in this week on the first public hearing of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Offshore Drilling, clearly seeking some variety.

It was held in New Orleans, so one could guarantee feelings would be running high, with various hysterical protesters being escorted out of the building, waving placards, before Admiral Thad Allen was able to give a workmanlike resume of the situation. We can look forward to more of the same, as all the haters of oil companies, and government, and any other form of organisation come forward to air their prejudices as the circus navigates its way around the US.

You have to ask what specifically all the angry people, from the leader writers in the New Orleans Times- Picayune, to those shouting at the public meeting, think could be done that hasn’t already been done? Resources have been sourced from all over the world, there are more fishing boats acting as skimmers than ever make a living fishing (and dare we say, at a better rate), and the drilling of relief wells seems to be progressing on schedule.

What on earth do they think the Coast Guard could have done additionally? Or is the USCG, as a federal force, just coming in for criticism because it is part of the Washington elite that the critics love to hate.

Some other agency than the USCG or the beleaguered oil company, ought, it is inferred, to have been “in charge”? Who on earth would that be? The CIA? NASA? The Louisiana National Guard? Disney Corporation? Americans used to be famous for their stoicism, the Anglo-Saxon stiff upper lip which had sailed across with the Pilgrim Fathers. Now they seem to be just hysterical. Maybe we should blame television.

But shouting at it ain’t gonna stop the oil flowing. A bit of cool reflection, dare we suggest AFTER the mess has been cleared  up , would probably be more constructive.


3 Responses to “Shout a little less”

  1. Ryan Skinner
    July 16th, 2010 @ 8:48 am

    The Americans threw the stiff upper lip overboard with a bunch of tea into the Boston Harbor 200+ years ago. No, Americans are an emotional species, and nothing stirs up those emotions more than feeling sh*t upon. You may find it unseemly, even hysterical. But without a lot of protest and anger and fist-waving to get the cooler heads to hammer through real change, nothing happens. Now that the oil has stopped flowing, it’s time to step UP the critique, not back down.

  2. Capt Ken E. Beck
    July 21st, 2010 @ 1:08 am

    Ryan Skinner –

    Yes, but it would be more tolerable if only those yelling the loudest were not also the most ignorant.

  3. Nanette
    December 8th, 2015 @ 9:51 pm

    The only head to roll was the former CEO Tony Hayward and that was more due to a lack of PR-skills. I agree that hopleufly this is a wake-up call for tighter regulation. These type of incidents always seem due to industry-wide complacency where no single error is in itself to blame, but when they all compound together have catastrophic consequences.

Leave a Reply