It is common effort versus snake oil. I'm in a business where snake oil solutions, technology as a solution instead of enabler is a way of life.
Some say Obama failed with his speech. Exactly how so? He told us the truth, same as Jimmy Carter. We didn't listen to Jimmy. How'd that work out for us?
Obama gave us a broad agenda with three quantifiable goals:
1. Stop the leak.
2. Clean the water.
3. Get off the oil addiction.
If he's asking us, that's to use the modern yak, crowd sourcing solutions. The first isn't as amenable to crowd sourcing. The second is but relies on resources and organization.
We'll come back to that: that is the cross-jurisdictional communications problem. Years after Mike Chertoff stood there waving the early drafts of the National Response Framework/National Incident Management System (NRF/NIMS) and considerable capital investment, we haven't established a basic communications system that can enable us to establish scalable command and control. There are potential solutions that can be fielded, but that covers products I work on and this isn't an advertisement. Happy to discuss them but not in this blog.
But and Nota Bene: ALL of the oil industry response plans are straw, carbon copied, incompetent filings for mission critical response systems. Say Federal fraud. NRF/NIMS for an event of this type is a hollow suit. This is serious and heads will and must roll for that.
That leaves oil addiction and this is very amenable to crowd sourcing. A friend of mine did some math based on government figures: we are getting 6.8% of our oil consumed in the US from offshore drilling. Another web site shows that 1 billion spent on insulating 75,000 homes equals the amount of energy spilled into the Gulf currently at a current cost of 40 billion dollars. If you are one of those with retirement funds in BP or any other oil company stock, you may want to pay attention to those figures. That's money invested with no R&D. Off the shelf.
Try to think of the problem not in an either-or culture ninja whack context. For a moment put down the pitchforks, let Frankenstein turn the grindstone, and let's ask ourselves if we can start reducing our economic and cultural reliance on oil.
We can do this, meanwhile, please Mr. President, more Carter's Pills!