Friday, April 30, 2010

Rise Up, "What-iffers"! The World Needs You

(I'm allowed one semi-serious piece once in a while, aren't I?)

An executive at BP oil, when addressing the recent Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and its resulting oil leak said they would "...take help from anyone" with regard to stopping the spill and containing the now migrating slick.

Rise up, “What-iffers!”  Your time is now! 

For years, we “What-iffers” have been stifled, called “Worry Warts” or “Helicopter Moms,”-- negatives names in order to suppress our catastrophic-izing habits.  But NO MORE! 
Cast aside your anti-depressants; embrace the full power of your “Expect the Worst" worry neuroses!
Our world needs us.

“As an engineer, it bothers me that they didn’t think of the possibility of something like this happening,” my husband, Fred, said the other night about the disaster off the Louisiana coastline. 

I’m not an engineer, but if I REALLY think about what it is they’re DOING out there in the deep, with a mile-long proboscis sucking up oil like a mosquito, it’s not hard to imagine 100 hair-brained, out-of-the-box “What- ifs” that could possibly go wrong.  We have ALL experienced leaky plumbing and pipes that break—imagine the logistics of a pipe 5000 feet long?  If only they'd solicited "What-iffers" to ask the following questions, for example, they might have been more prepared:

Can’t Salt-Water break things down?
Did they ever consider hump-backed whales might pole dance on it?
What if there's an unexplained explosion and the pipeline bends, fooling the fail-safe into thinking it's still supposed to pump?

BP wants our help, so a think-tank of “What-iffer Worriers” could suggest things to assist them like:
1.  Throw something that oil would COAT, but wouldn’t sink, into the slick.  Sponge?  Millions of Paper-towels?
2.  Drop something REALLY heavy down to the ocean floor to stop the leak, like a barge or a giant steel deck.
3.  Sink a gigantic hair-color cap down and pull a draw-string to cover the leak and suppress the oil.
4.  Put a floating "Weber" grill type cap over a controlled burn to filter and clean the toxic smoke before it joins the sky.

Far-fetched?  Yes. Plausible?  Maybe.  To submit your ideas go to: BP Transocean Drilling Incident.

We gifted worriers with wild imaginations can stop calming ourselves with “Oh, they must know what they’re doing,” self-talk when it comes to other modern engineering feats too, and help our world. 

Consider nuclear power plants.  We all know it’s about smashing atoms and lowering the resulting heat with water.  We don’t have to understand the technicalities to think up what might go wrong.  We owe it to our fellow man, our intelligence, our very nature, to speak out and have our crazy ideas be considered.    

They are expanding a bridge near where I live, and my daughter, Krista and I remarked together about why they were using wood to build up the sides and on the foundation.

“Doesn’t wood rot?” my young, “What-iffer-in-Training” asked me.
“Why, YES it DOES!” 

Have they thought of that?


Boomer Pie said...

I think they should call ServPro..."like it never even happened". They cleaned up our flooded basement in no time. It's no joking matter but sooner or later, we knew it would happen. I like your blog and I signed up to follow. Check out my place and join the gang.

Joanne said...

Well done Heidi!