Saturday, October 18, 2014

The True Cost of Operations

I read in the 'Nation/World' section of The Oregonian today (10/18/14) a very brief note about an oil well leak in North Dakota. Quote: "Authorities say workers are attempting to contain an out-of-control oil well in North Dakota. North Dakota regulators announced Friday that a well near Watford City in the western part of the state has been leaking oil, gas, and water since Thursday. They say there's no immediate health risk."

Small note in the newspaper, and browsing news on the web it is hard to find too. This link is to the ABS News website  where again a short reporting is published. As the quoted by The Oregonian regulators say there is no immediate health risk, then I would add: so why bother?

Why bother? No immediate health risk? How far is our 'immediate', 'instantaneous' society going with forgetting any medium or long term effects?

I will try to address two aspects of these kind of issues. One is the distance in time, the other is the distance in geography. After all we live in a space-time tetra-dimensional world.

The true cost of this leak is going to be paid by all of us. Sooner or later this leak will damage the environment in a way that will affect us all. Those close to the incident will suffer first but in the long run we all will be affected. I remember in my youth visiting the beaches near Tampico in the state of Tamaulipas in Mexico where the sand was tainted with oil. Oil coming from the petroleum related activities in the area. Of course the industry was and still is a source of economic revenue in the area, the inhabitants were beneficiaries of this economic activity, but the cost was not properly evaluated. Having oily stained beaches was only considered a nuisance. I don't think that today we would consider that a nuisance anymore!

Time has been re-calibrated for short term gain. We live in a world of yearly budgets, annual reviews and taxes, the man or woman of the year, and plenty of other yearly prizes like the Nobel. But is our life really about one year? Isn't that even though these prizes like the Nobel are given every year they are honoring a life-long achievement? We shouldn't never forget that it is based on the life-long achievements of individuals and institutions that we are able to claim any progress. Our technology, seen through the eyes of transportation-communication, health-medicine, and others like leassure-travel has been developed by visionaries that were not concerned with short term gains or accomplishments.

You can quote me in saying: "life achievements take a life to achieve"