Friday, May 14, 2010

Oil Spill Cover Story from Time

Interesting cover story from the May 17 issue of Time Magazine.

Titled "The Far-Ranging Costs of the Mess in the Gulf", the piece by Bryan Walsh examines the recent oil spill resulting from an explosion on and subsequent sinking of an offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Walsh paints a pretty fascinating picture on a number of different fronts.  First was the loss of 11 lives in the rig explosion and now environmental and economic impact from the resulting oil gushing from burst pipes to the ocean surface.  Then you had both the response of the responsible for the mess oil giant BP and the Coast Guard... acting on direction from the White House and other governmental agencies.

From the perspective of BP, it's interesting to read how their primary plan is to do something that's never really been done in basically putting a big cap over the spill.  From a policy perspective, the spill has already been used by various agenda carrying parties as reasons "offshore drilling is bad", "the administration is bad" and even better... "offshore drilling is good, as long as it's not off my particular shore."

In addition to detailing the event and ramifications of it, Walsh also includes in his story recommendations around energy policy and open discussion of what he terms the "ok, but not in my backyard" approach to unpleasant (and potentially devastating as this example shows) things such as offshore drilling.


Also from this issue of Time was the interesting last page piece "How a Cancer-Stricken Dad Chose a Council of Successors" by Nancy Gibbs.  About author Bruce Feiler (known for his book "Walking the Bible"), the story details Feiler's response to a rare and aggressive cancer diagnosis.  Rather than retreating, he reaches out to those he respects with the idea of them agreeing to serve as father figures for his twin toddler girls.

It's a slightly different approach, but makes me think of that taken by Randy Pausch with his book "The Last Lecture" (reviewed here).  Both meaningful actions taken with others in mind.