Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Harrison Schmitt has seen Great Management and Bad Management

And guess what he is mostly seeing right now!
During my IBM career the Apollo 13 movie was used at times as a sort of case study with a special focus on Gene Kranz - and for all its problems as yet another yawner of a Ron Howard movie, it actually did show all the things Schmitt considers important about managing a crisis.  Act fast, worry less about blame than solving the problem now and for later, and get everyone who can contribute together to solve the problem.
None of which the great windbag has displayed around the Oil Spill.
First would be a sense of urgency.
“Failure was not an option” for Gene Kranz and his Apollo 13 flight controllers and engineers. In contrast, failure clearly has been an option for President Obama and those claiming to have been on top of this situation “from day one” in his White House and in the Departments of Interior, Energy and Homeland Security. With no single, competent, courageous and knowledgeable leader in charge of a comparably competent, courageous and knowledgeable team as we had with Apollo 13, the Administration has been doomed to failure from the start. The President, without any experience in real-world management of anything, much less a crisis, has no idea how to deal with a situation as technically complex as the Gulf oil spill.
Another key factor is making sure everyone involved was pulling the same way and working on one team.  Now this is something Obama is simply incapable of doing.   Schmitt sees this clearly.
In contrast, President Obama’s and his Administration’s otherwise rambling response to the Deepwater Horizon explosion has been to stop offshore oil exploration by the United States. How misguided and, indeed, how either ignorant or devious can our President be!?
President Obama has shown repeatedly that the best interests of the American people are a lower priority than his ideological goal of changing America from what it has been, to some mystical, socialist utopia with a renewable-energy-based standard of living equivalent to that of the late 1800s. As if the Administration could not make its ineffective, disjointed response to the Deepwater Horizon accident any worse, it did not even use previously established sea surface burn-off and dispersant procedures to minimize the effects of the spill.
In addition, it has inexcusably delayed approving and assisting in Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s request to protect the state’s shores and wildlife habitats, by building offshore sand barriers – as unnecessary as having to make that request should have been. And this is the government that Congress and the President want to run healthcare, immigration, banking, carbon emissions, auto manufacturing, and everything else in American life?
Schmitt is rightly worried that we will never really discover what went on because of the utter ass-covering that Obama's infantile confrontational approach to the problem has created.  Obama seems to have the maturity level of a twelve-year old at best.
Current information indicates that BP installed a defective blowout preventer and did not have a deep-water, robotically emplaced crimping technique as a backup to the blowout preventer. Essential to the prevention of future accidents will be an objective, complete technical and managerial investigation of why a geological and engineering situation of known risks spun out of control. The primary question is, will such an investigation be possible in the politically charged, adversarial “boot on the neck” atmosphere created by President Obama and his team? Imagine if such an atmosphere had surrounded the 204 fire investigation and recovery.
How did we get here?
Responsibility for the Deepwater Horizon accident ultimately lies with the chaotic regulatory environment for petroleum exploration created over recent decades by the Congress, courts, Department of the Interior and environmental pressure groups. Will we learn anything about regulatory overkill from this tragic loss of eleven lives, extensive environmental damage, and disruption of business and employment in the Gulf?
Schmitt actually knows and cares about the long run (unlike the great windbag).

Long-term, history reminds us that naturally and accidentally released oil in the oceans disappears due to bacterial action. Remember that the fuel oil which blackened the world’s beaches as a result of World War II ship destruction disappeared after only a few years, and ocean life survived. The Gulf oil spill will not be this Nation’s most serious environmental crisis: World War II tops it by orders of magnitude in more than just this respect.
If America and freedom are to survive indefinitely, the next Congress must begin to restore sanity and intelligence to national energy policy. Until economically competitive alternatives become fully feasible, fossil fuels will remain the mainstay of our economy. Our dependence on unstable foreign sources of oil has become one of our greatest national security vulnerabilities, and only domestic production can solve it in the next 50 years.
In a decade or two this spill will mean little.  I can only hope that Obama will inflict no damage that lasts so long.


Post a Comment

<< Home