Monday, November 22, 2010

"No One Could Have Anticipated..."

The go-to phrase for the new millennium.
  • No one could have anticipated Bin Laden was determined to strike inside the US
  • No one could have anticipated New Orleans was so vulnerable to a major hurricane- though my first-term geo prof spent 10-15 minutes discussing said vulnerability... lecturing in Oregon, not the southeast... in 1981.
  • No one could have anticipated attempting to privatize social security would drive down the ratings of the president trying to do so.
  • No one could have anticipated deregulating banks, investment firms and insurance companies would lead to fraudulent lending, use of the loans as investments, and overconfident insurance of those investments, leading to an economic crisis.
  • No one could have predicted that reneging on numerous campaign promises and continuing policies created by a deeply unpopular predecessor would tarnish the glow of a promising new president.
  • No one could have anticipated...
Yada, yada, yada, I could continue this list for the better part of the day and still have examples left. But the one I wanted to get to was this:
  • No one could have anticipated that not enforcing safety regulations, administering agencies tasked with enforcement with members of the regulated industries, and allowing lobbying for exemptions by the same industries, in a potentially phenomenally dangerous and destructive activity could lead to, well, phenomenal destruction.
Via NYT's Green Blog:
“The containment story thus contains two parallel threads,” the commission staff wrote in a summary passage in their 39-page reconstruction of the four-month effort to kill the Macondo well. “First, on April 20, the oil and gas industry was unprepared to respond to a deepwater blowout, and the federal government was similarly unprepared to provide meaningful supervision.

“Second, in a compressed time frame, BP was able to design, build and use new containment technologies, while the federal government was able to develop effective oversight capacity. Those impressive efforts, however, were made necessary by the failure to anticipate a subsea blowout in the first place,” the report concluded.

Headline, 2040: "No one could have anticipated the drastic sea-level rise and increasing severity of extreme weather events."

Yeah, no one could have anticipated. Shame, that.

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