Sunday, June 13, 2010

This Ain't Simple - Richard Thaler on the Oil Spill

An excellent essay. There are very difficult trade-offs here if you don't simply want the world to return to low populations of starving people sitting around campfires.
How to require sufficient contingency planning should be a high priority in the future, along with ensuring that the Minerals Management Service.[sic] has the expertise to evaluate those plans. As a Coast Guard inspector said at a Congressional hearing last month, “The pace of technology has definitely outrun the regulations.”
We are left in a difficult place. Neither the private nor the public sector seems up to handling these kinds of problems. And we can’t simply wait for the next disaster, because, as people might say if they had to use G-rated language, stuff happens.
It is evident that the problem here was profoundly inadequate contingency planning, and that is not solely a BP responsibility.
h/t Marginal Revolution


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