Friday, January 04, 2013
Here is a case in which there is credible spinning in favor of and against a policy -- the grounding of the well drilling rig in Alaska. Environmentalists say the accident after a tow line snapped in bad weather is proof that oil drillers can't work safely in the arctic. Royal Dutch Shell, the owner of the drilling barge, points to a lack of any damage as proof that it can. Who you believe depends on where you stand. Although there has been no visible damage this time, there is a chance there will be at some point. The arctic is a difficult environment. On the other hand, Royal Dutch Shell is well aware of the dangers of working there and is engineering accordingly. The incident is providing both sides with ample opportunity to spin their messages. From an impartial observer's point of view, it is hard to decide who might be right. The world views of the two sides are opposed. Environmentalists want to see less drilling globally and more conservation. Oil companies see a profitable opportunity to satisfy relentless thirst for carbon-based fuel on which modern society depends. One side might be right in the long term and the other in the short term. Take your pick and your stand.