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 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 436
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...Page 13 of 33    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33)




CountIbli

BP wanted to drill in 500 feet of water, and the state of Louisiana okayed it. Then the federal government stepped in and made them drill at an unprecedented 5000 feet instead. So it's no surprise that everything went wrong because nobody has experience with this kind of thing. Thank you Big Brother for creating another huge mess.


Why is no one else addressing this?


Because no one wants to admit that the government is partly responsible for the disaster. Who else would they turn to for salvation if not the government?
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 437
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/26/2010 3:39:44 PM
Count


Trying to run a company through direct democracy would be a disaster

I agree. But the current system that gives them virtually no say is a disaster as well.

Any line drawn between direct democracy and zero democracy is arbitrary. That's why I proposed a solution that would allow shareholders to decide how much control they want to have and how much they want to leave in the hands of the CEO.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 438
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/26/2010 3:51:55 PM
Iconoclast



Fish are food, flamingos are not.

Says who? Dogs aren't food to you, but they are to someone else.

And even if flamingos aren't food to any humans, they are food to other organisms. Eventually those organisms who eat flamingos are food to the fish.

They're all part of the same ecosystem.

These "X is food", "Y is not food" standards are arbitrary in this context imo.








I try to avoid conversations with people who see such things in black and white. Im all about the grey in between

You avoid conversations with those who disagree with you? One may be a vegan for a multitude of reasons that do not conflict with the way you see the world. And even if a vegan is one for reasons you disagree with, it doesn't mean they "see things in black and white".

This sounds like hideous prejudice to me : /


Just something to think about...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_exposure_theory


If you care about intellectual honesty, avoiding selective exposure is of utmost importance.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 439
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/26/2010 4:14:06 PM
CountIbli

"BP wanted to drill in 500 feet of water, and the state of Louisiana okayed it. Then the federal government stepped in and made them drill at an unprecedented 5000 feet instead. So it's no surprise that everything went wrong because nobody has experience with this kind of thing. Thank you Big Brother for creating another huge mess."

You keep repeating the line that the "government" forced BP to drill at 5000 ft. As I noted earlier, and you duly ignored, BP made the economic decision to grab as much of the deep water oil real estate as possible for profit and competitive advantage. No one forced them to drill at depth. It was a decision based on greed. The same with BP's decisions to ignore standards, operating procedures, law, and safety issues.

The so-called "government" consists of people in the agencies that are supposed to enforce the laws to protect the public commons. The way the system works now, is a revolving door between regulators and industry, or good old boy clubs where liquor hookers, bribes, and other bennies are traded for MMS regulators looking the other way. Government is just like the private sector where there are ethical and unethical people involved. In branches like the MMS there tend to be more biostitutes, confusionists, and bureaupaths than other parts of government. Many look at these agencies as stepping stones to returned favors and bigger pay in the private sector if they do their jobs wrong and industry lapdogs while doing their tours of duty in the regulatory sector.

We're really dealing with a failure of human nature. We are reaping what we so as greed, lying, refusing to do good work, refusing to be accountable, and knowing that the best lawyers will prevail over justice. Again..the article from Forbes that highlights BP's decision to go deep in a risky environment, BECAUSE of their greed....not the guvmint.
and BP's disdain for human health concerns.
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/877.html
air coverage of water coverage..
http://www.southernstudies.org/2010/06/bps-rainbows-of-death-video.html

http://www.forbes.com/global/2001/0402/044.html
snip..
For BP Amoco's soft-spoken CEO, Sir John Browne, deep water offers the prospect of the largest untapped reserves and the lowest-cost means of extraction. It could keep the company safely afloat even if oil prices, currently $30 a barrel, fall by half.

The London-based BP Amoco once confined its efforts to buying small stakes in the deepwater forays led by bigger rivals. But in recent years the company has quietly stolen the lead in this expensive game, moving ahead of ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch/Shell. BP Amoco (which will drop "Amoco" from its name later this year) has spent the past decade buying up exclusive drilling rights in the world's most promising deepwater regions, setting up an assembly-line process to find new reserves, build rigs and get the oil out.

By 2005 BP expects to pull 1.3 million barrels of oil and the equivalent in gas a day from fields lying in waters more than 300 meters deep in places that include offshore Trinidad, the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico—25% of its worldwide production, up from only 6% now. The total could climb dramatically as BP completes similar projects in Brazil and Angola. "This demonstrates what organic growth means," Browne says. "We found the resources ourselves, we're developing them ourselves, and we have a lot of legs. It goes and goes and goes."

The deep-sea plunge is the crucial element to achieving Browne's promise of turning in earnings growth of 10% a year even as revenue grows only half as fast. Hitting that target requires trimming per-barrel costs by 3% a year; the key to doing that is technology. And nowhere in the oil patch is technology as challenging as in the deep waters of the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere (see diagram, pp. 46—7).

If Browne is right, BP, now the world's third-largest oil company, with $148 billion in sales and almost $12 billion in net income last year, could pass Shell to become No. 2 and pose a more potent threat to No. 1, ExxonMobil. BP needs some good news:Its stock is down 11% over the past eight months, compared with a 9.5% rise in the S&P Oil Index (BP trades as an ADR on the New York Stock Exchange). BP shares are valued at only 16.7 times trailing earnings, compared with ExxonMobil's multiple of 18.

But Browne's deepwater push carries big risks, ranging from steep upfront costs to devastating human error and corrupt foreign governments. Drilling a deepwater well costs $50 million or more, compared with only $1 million onshore. At the sea floor, ice plugs can form in pipelines exposed to the near-freezing temperatures, forcing the owner to rent a drilling rig for $200,000 a day to fix the problem. Mistakes can be brutally expensive. Poorly engineered wells can get clogged with sand, requiring intervention at $5 million a pop. In 1998 contractors on Texaco's Petronius project accidentally dropped a 3,600-tonne deck module into the Gulf of Mexico. Today the $70 million platform still languishes under 500 meters of water, too deep to be recovered.
more..at link..
 _Icon_
Joined: 5/18/2008
Msg: 440
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/26/2010 4:28:26 PM
You avoid conversations with those who disagree with you? One may be a vegan for a multitude of reasons that do not conflict with the way you see the world. And even if a vegan is one for reasons you disagree with, it doesn't mean they "see things in black and white".

This sounds like hideous prejudice to me : /


What you call prejudice, I call tolerance.

I'm quite content to disagree silently without trying to change anyone else's POV. More often than not, this same courtesy is not extended to me, so I just avoid the whole thing. My momma used to say "Pick your battles."

The ethical vegan battle is one I don't feel strongly about. You do your thing, I'll do mine. My thing involves eating meat, no amount of discussion will ever change that.

Feel free to choose your own menu with my blessing.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 441
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/26/2010 4:39:40 PM
Meh. I "believe in" tolerance, if you accept that expression. 'Tolerance' requires robust discussion and engagement with what you disagree with. Without such discourse, you aren't tolerant: you're apathetic and indifferent. (Not saying this is you...) I think those are another source of the problem today. People just don't care.

"Pick your battles" is fantastic advice. I use it myself. (ex. I try to refrain from posting in theology threads). But picking battles and discriminating on irrelevant grounds aren't the same thing. That's all I'm sayin'
 _Icon_
Joined: 5/18/2008
Msg: 442
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/26/2010 4:44:46 PM
You're a brand new adult, so Im going to give you a break. I've been around a long time.

Your making assumptions about me that arent true. Why do you assume I havent already had this conversation ad nauseam? Might my suggestion that I didnt want to discuss it give the impression that the matter is settled for me? Guess not. I'll try to be clearer in the future.

I'm quite frankly bored with argument. Perhaps it is slightly egotistical of me to feel that I offer more tolerance than I receive, but that is my perception.

I would ask you to not make assumptions about people you don't know.

There is nothing I care to debate with an ethical vegan. Lifestyle vegans dont bug me at all, lol.

Notice I said IF you were vegan, for all I know you're munchin down on some MickeyD's as we speak.



(ex. I try to refrain from posting in theology threads)


As do I. I don't see the difference
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 443
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/26/2010 5:13:17 PM
This whole thing is just silly. All I'm saying is that people can be vegan for many reasons and that actively avoiding conversation with those who subscribe to something as broad and unspecific as "veganism" is irrelevant discrimination. You admitted yourself that you don't mind lifestyle vegans. What you said earlier does not indicate that. It indicates a broad stance against a label, not the reasons one subscribes to the label.

I'm confused. What have I assumed about you? And I don't know why you've brought my age up. That's something else that's irrelevant.


Anyways, this whole thing is silly. I hope we can get this thread back on topic.
 _Icon_
Joined: 5/18/2008
Msg: 444
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/26/2010 5:18:57 PM
I am frequently irrelevant. It's a fact of my life. I don't let it bother me too often. I do what I can.

I liked this part tho.


Ahh, I see. So it is a despair for the damage to a commodity that locals depend on, not a despair for the free agency of the animals themselves?

That makes sense. Didn't think about it that way.


I was simply trying to clarify. We still didn't address the other species that are not used for food. Obviously you are bright enough with a fair grasp on the situation that I don't need to say much else about it.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 446
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/26/2010 10:08:52 PM
Oh, so you still can't put up a meaningful reply? You still have nothing to say in response to my on-point critiques of your thinking? All you say in response to my factually-vindicated and acclaimed critiques is "you're immature"?

It's obvious you don't care about the topic. You're not open-minded enough to challenge your views in a civil debate of ideas. Nope. Instead of spending this time actually discussing and analyzing the facts with me - as I have tried to do numerous times with you, peacefully - all you're doing is continuing to attack me in a sad attempt to bate me into frustration. You do this time and time again. It's hilarious how transparent you are.

As I said before, you are about as intellectually stimulating as an eggplant. Instead of giving me relevant points to consider, you engage in ad-hominem bigotry.
 wvwaterfall
Joined: 1/17/2007
Msg: 447
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/26/2010 10:42:10 PM
A couple of corrections from earlier posts:

Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas, so we should see some global cooling from this.


Water is not the most powerful greenhouse gas. It's the most plentiful greenhouse gas, creating more greenhouse effect than any other single source, but an a molecular level LESS potent than any of the other greenhouse gasses.

It's true that water vapor accounts for more of the greenhouse effect than any other single constituent, but I doubt whatever decrease in evaporation in the gulf might happen would offset the dramatic increase in gulf methane being released by this spill.

I spent a bit of time trying to see if any climate scientists have weighed in on the net effect of the gulf oil spill on global climate, and wasn't able to find anything, but that doesn't mean it isn't out there somewhere. Offhand I note that less water evaporation and increased particulates from all the oil slick burning would have a cooling effect, while increased methane evaporating and increased CO2 from the burning would have a warming effect. Surely someone is crunching the numbers for net climate effect, but if they are I couldn't easily find them.


Plant and animal species are almost certainly going extinct at a lesser rate today than they were in the past.


Not true at all. Google 'sixth major extinction" and you'll find countless links documenting that we are currently losing species at a rate rivaling the previous five major extinction periods the planet has experienced:


There is little doubt left in the minds of professional biologists that Earth is currently faced with a mounting loss of species that threatens to rival the five great mass extinctions of the geological past. As long ago as 1993, Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson estimated that Earth is currently losing something on the order of 30,000 species per year — which breaks down to the even more daunting statistic of some three species per hour. Some biologists have begun to feel that this biodiversity crisis — this “Sixth Extinction” — is even more severe, and more imminent, than Wilson had supposed.


http://www.actionbioscience.org/newfrontiers/eldredge2.html

I'll stay out of the vegan debate, but would note that I find it curious to equate tolerance with eagerness to engage in vigorous debate, especially when the person one is being encouraged to debate is prone to absolute statements rather than acknowledging the uncertainty level of many of his assertions.

Just the view from here,

Dave
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 448
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/27/2010 12:00:24 AM
wvwaterfall

Thanks for the rational response.


I find it curious to equate tolerance with eagerness to engage in vigorous debate

To be tolerant and considerate of opposing viewpoints, you must submit yourself to robust debate in order to challenge your position. Otherwise you aren't tolerant: you're indifferent.





Google 'sixth major extinction" and you'll find countless links documenting that we are currently losing species at a rate rivaling the previous five major extinction periods

Overall the trend is distinctly downward: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Extinction_intensity.svg)
(http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/extinction/rate.jpg)

"The gaps between mass extinctions appear to be becoming longer, while the average and background rates of extinction are decreasing."

And the current extinction event we're in, beginning thousands of years ago (which I actually referenced in my earlier post) is most widely recognized to be the result of slash and burn agriculture and the over hunting of early humans. This devastated entire food chains and lasted for thousands of years. If you don't recall, I noted this on, I believe, pg 4 of this thread. I also correctly noted that this brutal hunting of wild species has been replaced with economic growth. We can argue back and forth whether or not ranching is a "better" alternative, but it is indisputably an alternative that leaves much less of a negative ecological impact on the food chain around us.

It's also worth noting that biodiversity rates are at all-time highs and are continuing to surge upwards:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phanerozoic_biodiversity_blank_01.png
http://antarcticsun.usap.gov/AntarcticSun/science/images/kt_graph.jpg


All of this supports my overall position: the planet is doing very well and that there is no evidence that supports the idea that the earth is coming to an end as we know it as some posters have been implying.
 _Icon_
Joined: 5/18/2008
Msg: 449
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/27/2010 1:22:47 AM
To be tolerant and considerate of opposing viewpoints, you must submit yourself to robust debate in order to challenge your position.


I have made my conclusions and it's not up for debate. It's off topic to the OP and my original post was only to clarify for you the importance of the Gulf to the culture and economy that lives on its shore. I'm starting to regret that.


Can anyone justify the simultaneous despair for the fish and other marine wildlife in the Gulf and the despair for the fishermen for me?

I don't understand it. "Poor fish. The oil is hurting them... Poor fishermen who can't kill the fish because of the oil."


It.... makes no sense to me. How can one care about the livelihoods of fish if he/she wants fishermen to kill them?


The way you worded your question gave me reason to think you were questioning the ethics of the fishing industry. I know diddley squat about the fishing industry, but I have had a few miserable arguments with polarized vegans in my day. It's an experience I dont care to repeat. You eat what's on your plate and leave mine alone. Live and let live. Tolerance.

I have a great respect for wildlife and consider myself a good steward. I am very conscious of the size of my "footprint." I also eat meat. Including fish and shrimp from my beloved Gulf of Mexico. I'm sure things look fine from where you sit in Maryland, but here on the Gulf Coast, we are UPSET. Try to understand.

If I were not completely offended by your accusations of apathy, I assure you I could exhibit enough passion to satisfy even yourself. It's just not worth it, I have no interest in debating someone who presents opinions as facts and I'm not interested in conversation with someone who deals only in absolutes.

I understand that this is an emotionally charged subject, I have purposely taken a docile tone because of that. You might consider your own tone.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 450
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/27/2010 2:15:15 AM
Iconoclast


If I were not completely offended by your accusations of apathy

Wait a second. I never accused you of apathy.

I said tolerance requires engagement of competing ideas. Otherwise so-called "tolerance" more closely resembles apathy. How do you infer me saying, "Iconoclast is apathetic" from this?

You are actually responding to me in a coherent fashion. You are engaging in a debate of ideas. Thus, you clearly are not apathetic.

I don't know why you took that statement personally : /

It wasn't directed towards you at all.






here on the Gulf Coast, we are UPSET. Try to understand.

We're upset too. And I do understand.

You guys are no doubt feeling the blunt of the pain. But this is an incident whose impacts are far-reaching and global in scale. I understand that. Personally, am very upset over the entire matter.

Just because someone wishes to maintain a rational thought-process in no way suggests that they are not upset over a given event.






The way you worded your question gave me reason to think you were questioning the ethics of the fishing industry.

Not at all.
I simply thought that feeling sorrow for the fish in the Gulf at the same time feeling sorrow for the fishermen who could no longer kill them was contradictory and irrational. Comparable to feeling bad for deer caught in a hailstorm while at the same time feeling bad for hunters unable to hunt deer because of said hailstorm.

Feeling sorrow for one or the other is perfectly fine. But sorrow for both, simultaneously, seemed irrational to me.

But you clarified the situation for me, indicating that these people are upset about losing an economic resource rather than from causing loss to the free agency of the fish. From that perspective, there is no dissonance between feeling simultaneous sorrow for the loss of fish and the loss of fishermens' work.





I have no interest in debating someone who presents opinions as facts and I'm not interested in conversation with someone who deals only in absolutes.

Are you referring to me? If so, which opinions have I posed as facts? And in what way have I demonstrated that I only deal in absolutes?
 wvwaterfall
Joined: 1/17/2007
Msg: 451
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Posted: 6/27/2010 6:33:25 PM
To be tolerant and considerate of opposing viewpoints, you must submit yourself to robust debate in order to challenge your position. Otherwise you aren't tolerant: you're indifferent.


We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. Whether how I express my different perspective is vigorous enough to meet your definition of tolerance is up to you to decide.

As I think of the people I know who I consider tolerant, perhaps the best example is my mother. She holds deep felt convictions about abortion, the death penalty, her faith, her politics, and any number of other issues, but when introduced to someone whose tenets differ from hers she doesn't debate. She asks probing questions and thoughtfully considers the responses. I've seen her over the decades modify her perspective on several core issues as a result, and hold firm on others all the while expressing not only respect but gratitude that hers is not the only deeply held perspective in the world. She firmly embraces the value of diversity, and has an unquenchable thirst to understand how others think and how they've arrived at their point of view. I'd assert that she'd meet and exceed most any definition of tolerance, yet I've never witnessed her engage in robust debate.


All of this supports my overall position: the planet is doing very well and that there is no evidence that supports the idea that the earth is coming to an end as we know it as some posters have been implying.


I'm not asserting that the earth is coming to an end as we know it, but find scant support for a 'very well' health report either. All the evidence points to dramatic shifts for the worse in the planet's ecosystems this century.


We have driven the rate of biological extinction, the permanent loss of species, up several hundred times beyond its historical levels, and are threatened with the loss of a majority of all species by the end of the 21st century."[7] Some of the human causes of the current extinctions include deforestation, hunting, pollution, climate change,[8] and the introduction of non-native species


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixth_mass_extinction

And by following the links at the bottom of your own last citation, I found the following:


The world's eco-systems are at risk of "rapid degradation and collapse" according to a new United Nations report.

The third Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-3) published by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) warns that unless "swift, radical and creative action" is taken "massive further loss is increasingly likely."

Ahmed Djoghlaf, executive secretary of the CBD said in a statement: "The news is not good. We continue to lose biodiversity at a rate never before seen in history."

The U.N. warns several eco-systems including the Amazon rainforest, freshwater lakes and rivers and coral reefs are approaching a "tipping point" which, if reached, may see them never recover.


http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/africa/05/10/biodiversity.loss.report/

As well as:

http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2008/10/21/Study-World-is-undergoing-mass-extinction/UPI-86681224612180/

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200603/s1596740.htm

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-current-mass-extincti

I did find your links interesting and informative, if hard to reconcile with the ones I've provided. One possible explanation is that we peaked a while back in terms of biodiversity, and are just now embarking on the early stages of an extinction event to rival all others. We may well still retain a large amount of biodiversity, but I find no support for a diagnosis of "very well" for planetary health.

Dave
 _Icon_
Joined: 5/18/2008
Msg: 452
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/29/2010 12:19:08 AM
As tropical storm Alex moves into the Gulf it's making the oil spill situation worse.

It's moving oil through the water at the front of the storm and pushing it inland into the marshes and estuaries. This is going cause even more loss of wildlife and make cleanup operations extremely difficult if not impossible.

Alex is the first storm of the season and it's starting really early this year. Things will never be the same on the Gulf coast again.

The storm is supposed to make landfall in Mexico, but really cant be predicted yet.

Galveston bay produces more seafood than any other bay in the nation except the Chesapeake. There is going to be a ripple effect nationwide and perhaps even globally. Houston is the second largest port in the nation and there is no way yet to predict how this storm and subsequent storms will affect this area.



 SuthernFlair
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 454
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/29/2010 2:01:02 PM
Shame Einstein isn't alive in this time of life. Ingeneious politicans, government levels layered on top of each other, frozen what to do. (fema under Homeland security) Common Sense gone away showing how the government is displayed.

Politicians puppets of what goes on behind the scenes besides being ignorant in their polished suits. Technology available, rules of engagement a political nightmare, like a lost dog running wild.

Greed mixed in an ingredience to man filling his pockets and wanting power to feed the ego. Honestly a lost art of truth. Put it in the common man/womans hands it would be fixed. We the people being sold by the pimps of Washington.
 _Icon_
Joined: 5/18/2008
Msg: 458
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/30/2010 12:01:37 AM
Tropical storm Alex is getting bigger, they expect him to become Cat 2 and make landfall near Brownsville. South Padre Island is under voluntary evacuation alert.

This isn't normal for Texas this time of year. It's too early. I didnt find any local news talking about the oil spill tonight, the storm itself is scary enough.

I'm going to fill up the gas tanks and hit the grocery store tomorrow. If it veers north, we got a place up near Hunstville we always bug out to. I don't think we will have to leave Houston, though. I'm always prepared just in case, it's a fact of life here. We know the drill.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7085352.html
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 459
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/30/2010 8:26:48 AM

How can this disaster possibly be blamed on the free market?

I guess that depends on what you consider the free market. I'd say the market is not free in the sense that I'm not free to provide my own incentive for people to not do stupid things, but beyond that, there is no such thing as a free market. Stop reading Ayn Rand. Even she didn't believe her own bullshit.

It is a blatant, crushing failure of central government regulation of the economy. There were no market forces at work here.[/quote[
Sure there were. The people at bp had a monetary incentive to drill for oil and the money to provide incentive to the people in charge of regulating them to not enforce regulations. If there is a failure here, it's in not making the penalties stiff enough for graft and corruption.

Those forces would have given someone an incentive to make sure the Gulf was protected. Instead, we had bureaucrats working with special interests to dictate how things would be.

Oh really? Like what incentive provided by whom? Brazil already tried that approach to save the rain forests, but the rest of the world was not interested in providing Brazil with any incentive to not cut down the rain forests for timber. You are very naive. Anyone can imagine a utopian society based on a personal idea of what utopia ought to be. It's more difficult when you factor reality into the scheme.

The SYSTEM needs to be changed to a more free market, less government-controlled one if we want meaningful improvement.

That requires eliminating national borders to allow free movement of labor. Read Adam Smith for yourself. (He is selectively quoted by the so-called free market enthusiasts who fail to note this aspect of free markets.) Got any ideas on how to get people to agree to wipe out national borders? Didn't think so. Until you do, you'll have to be satisfied with the alternative non-free market solutions.

Humans act according to incentives, not according to how we want them to act or how we think they should act.

Putting people in jail for life for accepting or offering bribes would a lot of incentive to not do that and a lot simpler than hypothetical financial incentives to ``do the right thing'' from hypothetical someones with hypothetical financial reserves to carry it out.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 460
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 6/30/2010 8:45:09 AM

You are absolutely right about the majority of shareholders having no say in how their company is managed. What do you think of my proposed solution above?

Eh? The shareholder have a say in how the company is run. They vote for officers to run the company, often by proxy.

I could be wrong, but I think Count only thinks shareholder assets would be liable after the company's assets are exhausted. That's how it would work in the real world, I think.

Uh, the entire point of incorporating is to seperate personal assets from the corporation. In other words, shareholders are not personally liable for the actions of the corporation beyond their investment.

As for profits, I think my solution would have the real-world effect of increasing dividends. Thats what our stock market used to be based on. A company generated profits and distributed them to shareholders. I'm pretty sure before 1980, no company on the S&P 500 paid less than a 2% dividend. Today, only a tiny minority do.

Coincidently, 1980 marked the beginning of the deregulation of the financial industry.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 464
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 7/6/2010 5:15:59 PM
The way that the "free" market has been established, paves the way for corporate scumbags to become yet more evil. It has less to do with markets, and far more to do with codifying bad behavior as a "normal" means of doing business upon the world. Governments have been set up to control this aspect of human behavior through various versions, successful and less than, to try to reign in the bad aspects of human instincts. Without controls, BP, Shell, et. al would have pillaged, plundered, and polluted far more egregiously, and faster without such constraints. The failure of the MMS only shows the deregulation mentality of the far right and libertarian extremists, who favor corporate anarchy over common sense regulations of people who cannot control their greed, profit motive and disdain for nature and people.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/06/the-more-ceos-make-the-wo_n_636606.html
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 465
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 7/6/2010 6:27:12 PM
RE Msg: 471 by Earthpuppy:
The way that the "free" market has been established, paves the way for corporate scumbags to become yet more evil. It has less to do with markets, and far more to do with codifying bad behavior as a "normal" means of doing business upon the world. Governments have been set up to control this aspect of human behavior through various versions, successful and less than, to try to reign in the bad aspects of human instincts. Without controls, BP, Shell, et. al would have pillaged, plundered, and polluted far more egregiously, and faster without such constraints. The failure of the MMS only shows the deregulation mentality of the far right and libertarian extremists, who favor corporate anarchy over common sense regulations of people who cannot control their greed, profit motive and disdain for nature and people.
I'd like to be fair to both sides.

I can understand the desire to earn, and to try to earn as much as you can, in order to ensure that you are always able to meet your minimum requirements for paying your workers and your shareholders.

At the same time, I can also see that if any one company takes too much of the market, or uses methods that cause long-term harm to many people, that it is not that great for their country as a whole. However, it's also not that great for the company, as the company then is blamed for the problems they caused, and this causes people to switch brand to another company, and that will cost them big-time in the long term.

I think that a major cause of the conflict is often what I call "thinking on the never-never". It's the same as borrowing on the never-never, but more general. We often think "it'll never happen", or "the market will balance everything out", or some such thinking. Sometimes, that's exactly what happens, our fears are never realised. But quite often, more often than not, the very thing we think cannot happen, does. It's called "Murphy's Law", "If it can go wrong, it will".

For that reason, it's very useful to actually work out practically, almost mathematically, what the eventual results will be in the long-term, particularly if lots of companies adopt the same behaviours, because the law of averages means that with enough companies doing the same thing, that some company is bound to be caught up in it, however unlikely it is.

However, that takes work, particularly a lot of mental effort in thinking out the actual long-term consequences of one's actions. I can see by history that most civilisations just didn't bother to think out the long-term consequences of their actions. Pompeii was a good one, as they clearly didn't have an evacuation plan for an eruption. But you can see it in most businesses, because I once read that 2/3 of businesses fail in their first year, for no other reason than they didn't develop a solid long-term business plan.

I believe that this is a major conflict in our civilisation, and in humanity altogether. We know that many of our actions have very dangerous long-term consequences, both to others, and ourselves. So it's in our interest to be proactive, to work the likely consequences out in advance, so that we don't have to learn by the bitter consequences of experiencing those hardships that are bound to occur sooner or later. The sooner we learn to be proactive, to suck it up, and put the hard work in earlier, to face our fears before they happen, and plan for when and how they will occur later on, the sooner we will manage to deal with 90% of our problems before they hit us hard. Then life will get a LOT easier, because we will have very few problems that we haven't already got the solutions for.
 desertrhino
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 466
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History
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 7/6/2010 6:35:44 PM
not ALMOST mathematically, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_theory
 mr.evil
Joined: 11/14/2009
Msg: 467
The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 7/6/2010 6:48:22 PM
"The shareholder have a say in how the company is run."

In the case of small companies maybe, major corps. like BP, no.

Major corporations issue 100's of millions of shares. Few people aside from a Sam Walton, Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, maintain any kind of major stake in the company. In most cases people don't own individual shares, they own mutual funds, or have a managed retirement accounts. A few managers are proactive, in shareholder rights, or corporate responsibility, the rest want good earnings and an increasing stock price PERIOD!!!

Most stockholders just mail in their Proxy form, for the board to vote for them. The board members seem to be nominated by management. Then rubber stamped through the proxy vote, by current board members. So few shareholders even those such as fidelity which owns multiple %'s of a company exert any true influence.

BP as a corporation, will ALWAYS act in it's own self interest. It's board will hide behind the mantra of "being in the corporate interest" or "What's best for the shareholders", it's all bullsh1t, their all about the money. Most board members make between $50 and 100,000 a year. Many members are on multiple boards.

Today in the news it seems to be true that BP hired Wakenhut guards, and along with certain agencies (homeland) among them, are limiting who has access to the beaches and marshes. Seems all they want is to have photo op's with a few hundred hand selected workers, wearing BP slickers with shovels.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, they are doing ZERO, about the majority of the coast.

This will get a lot worse before it gets better. BP has $300 Billion in assets, yet in the back rooms they are still talking about plunging BP's American division, into bankruptcy. Nothing will happen until they see if the relief well will work sometime in midaugust.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 468
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The BP oil spill in the Mexican Gulf ...
Posted: 7/6/2010 7:26:34 PM
RE Msg: 473 by desertrhino:
not ALMOST mathematically, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_theory
I said ALMOST mathematically, for a REASON. Remember, I did study mathematics for a degree. Most people who THINK they know mathematics, and try to use mathematics to get an answer, almost always come to the opposite of what the mathematics actually shows. But when they practically, to work out the realistic long-term consequences of their problems, they use basic logic, which is actually the same logic as in the actual mathematics, and they nearly often come to almost the same answer as the mathematics actually shows. So when you are dealing with people who THINK they know mathematics, but really don't understand mathematics as well as mathematicians, generally, they are far more likely to come to the right answer by thinking practically, but not mathematically, and are far more likely to come to answers that look good to them, but have horrific long-term consequences, when they try to think mathematically.

A good example of this is game theory, because game theory is like other areas in mathematics, and each theorem in game theory has very specific conditions for the theory to be true, conditions which are totally unlike most people's ways of understanding conditions for a situation. As a result, you get a lot of people arguing that game theory can be used to model a wide variety of economic situations in which the theorems simply do not apply at all, and you get plenty of economic situations in which the theorems apply almost perfectly, but which are never considered, most people simply think the theorems of game theory couldn't apply, when they do, because the conditions do.

For instance, Nash equilibriums rely on that most people know the rules of the game, and the strategies that most players will use. So Nash equilibriums work extremely well to explain how large corporations treat each other, but explain very little on how competition works in a large economy where smaller businesses exist, whose owners simply don't fully understand all the strategies that large corporations use.
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