This Time Is Different

The Black Swan in the Gulf of Mexico will probably lead us to a turnaround in thinking about public risk, players and stakeholders, the blame, our precious environment and more than that about the precautionary principle, it’s risk management and public governance. It could lead us in a new, more sustainable direction. Last week Thomas L. Friedman, journalist at the New York Times, published this article, which we think is a special one to reflect on.

“I’d like to join in on the blame game that has come to define our national approach to the ongoing environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. This isn’t BP’s or Transocean’s fault. It’s not the government’s fault. It’s my fault. I’m the one to blame and I’m sorry. I’m the one to blame and I’m sorry. It’s my fault because I haven’t digested the world’s in-your-face hints that maybe I ought to think about the future and change the unsustainable way I live my life. If the geopolitical, economic, and technological shifts of the 1990s didn’t do it; if the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 didn’t do it; if the current economic crisis didn’t do it; perhaps this oil spill will be the catalyst for me, as a citizen, to wean myself off of my petroleum-based lifestyle. ‘Citizen’ is the key word. Read more >