Archive | June, 2010

Between BP and Bakrie, and Luna

9 Jun

The other night, me and my friends were talking about the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Our concern was in the fact that there’s so much media hype about it, which tends to dilute the facts without actually empowering related parties to find the solution to the problem.  We did not quite understand why that needed to happen as this was not a bigger problem than Exxon Valdez in 1989.  In hindsight, we were wrong.  The BP oil spill is by far the largest disaster of its kind ever happened in U.S. history.  By the end of May, it had poured at least 20 million gallons ( or 75 million liters ) of crude oil into the Gulf, – almost double the output of Exxon Valdez.

Of course, that translates to a problem of an unprecedented scale.  Which means that so far efforts to curb the spill have been largely unsuccessful.  While a lot of people criticize President Obama for not taking a hard enough stance towards BP, I beg to differ.  Like it or not, the government simply lacks the technical know-how or skills to mitigate the problem.  Thus, getting politically angry would not get the job done.  The first priority must lie in stemming the leakage, and by resisting to take control of the whole operation, Obama leave it to the industry (without necessarily acknowledging their innocence) that is best positioned to do the job.

One interesting parallelism is between BP and Bakrie.  We all know that Bakrie is the mothership of Lapindo Brantas, a company whose operation preceded the sad mud disaster in Sidoarjo.  Granted, Lapindo had started to pay penalties for the damage it caused to the vicinity’s inhabitants.  But the company only started that after much bullying from the public and the government.  It’s still fresh in our mind that the company’s leaders were much more interested in shifting the blame to natural causes, – engaging in a blame game with God.  The underlying fact is: Lapindo never took initiative to be responsible of what happened.

With BP, the responses were worlds apart.  BP’s CEO Tony Hayward never exactly admitted the blame, but that’s not the point.  My point is, even before they were proven guilty by the pending federal enquiries and maybe even prosecutions, BP has started to take actions to contain, -if not repair, the damage it caused to the environment.  Just see how it hired International Bird Rescue Research Center to clean affected fowls.  Today, they are already treating as many as four pelicans a day.

That is but a small example, but the morale remains, – if you could take real, responsible actions about a problem, why engage in petty bickerings and other childish concerns?     That goes to a lot of other problems in Indonesia with stupid aftermaths like Luna Maya’s alleged video.  I mean, what’s with prosecuting her and the “actors” of the video?  That’s just outrageous and plain irresponsible, if you ask me.  Unfortunately, Dylan sums it best when he says that, “The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind….”