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Human error
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-01-07 08:39:34
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It is everywhere on the news the last couple of days and I suppose a lot of people have read my now that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was an avoidable disaster caused in part by a series of cost-cutting decisions made by BP and its partners. This is the White House oil commission concluded decision after long investigation and study. So it was “human error”

The Green Peace and other environmental groups have often warned the Finnish government that the construction of the new nuclear plan in Olkiluoto has a lot of flaws that make it dangerous due to cost-cutting decisions. At the moment there are only warnings but who wants to say …I told you? And who is to blame for those cuts? Who’s to blame for replacing critical elements of nuclear plans with others lower quality and higher risk? Human error!

Chernobyl accident happened because the materials used to construct and maintain the plan were cheap and unstable, the personnel not fully trained and unable to understand the seriousness of their acts.

The Chernobyl accident coasted human lives, lives that haven’t stopped claimed 25 years after with tens of kids born with serious and lethal health problems and a whole generation carrying the curse of a nuclear disaster. The land will take centuries to recover and for decades the area will look like an open wound.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico didn’t claim human lives straightway but claimed life in many other ways with an environmental disaster and changing the lives of thousands of people. Destroying a valuable natural resource the disaster claimed lives more than the numbers will ever show and the results will be more obvious perhaps in a decade just like it happened with Chernobyl when the first waves of births appeared in the wider area, much wider than the town of Chernobyl. What makes the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico easier to accept is the absence of body-bags and orphans crying.

But the worst part of this tragedy is the acceptance, that a penalty however high and mythical for the ordinary people might be is accepted and for most justified and right. In Chernobyl’s case the “human error” died during the first explosion, in the Mexico’s Gulf issue the general director of BP was fired for wrongdoing PR but left the people with the feeling that except the money penalty somebody was also fired and his lynching was a good PR, a neo-rich manager with yachts and fancy cars, with celebrity life-style and huge bonus in the end of every year. The crowd was happy and the sea dead.

Searching for the guilt in all the above cases and because of human error the real guilty escaped and I’m afraid will continue escaping doesn’t matter how many Gulf of Mexico and Chernobyl will happen. You see how you can blame the thousands of share holders with some of them having trusted their pension to huge financing companies that have invested their money in BP or the French company that builds Olkiluoto without telling them but just sending in the end of every term a paper that says their term profits. And of course these people want more profits – some of them have literally invest their lives – they demand more profits and the company that holds and works with their money wants more profits and IBM wants to keep the investors happy otherwise there is no cash flow and …accidents happen.

In every rime the principal want to follow the money trace. But in this case the money trace leads in a carousel of greed where faces blend. It is Soros who had invested in BP shares but it was the worker who saved a few hundred and hoped that he could make some more from the bank’s interest to pay his kid’s studies. And of course this is where the state comes to protect both sides, the investment and the safety of the people and the environment but then again states and governments consist from humans and you know how it works with …human error!

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