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Insanity or Apathy?

Since the first week of January, more details have come out pertaining to the reckless behavior exhibited by Shell Oil and its oil rig, Kulluk, off of the Alaskan Coast.

First the company said the decision to move the rig was based on forecasts which suggested the weather would be good, but then it was made public that the forecasts made were for too short of a time period to be useful for the longer time duration to transport the rig.

Then the company decided the best way to diffuse the situation would be to blame luck, and simply say they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but not due to luck. It was due to an extreme disregard for safety, and an abandonment of common sense.

Finally, reports were released which showed the decision to move the rig was based entirely on avoiding a Alaskan state tax which was scheduled to go into effect on January 1st; the Kulluk ran aground on December 31st. To avoid paying a miniscule amount in taxes, compared to the huge profits the company makes, Shell Oil was willing to run a rig into the coast.

This is where the question comes in, and it is directed at the American public: are you insane, which by definition is repeating the same thing and expecting difference results, or are you apathetic and simply don’t care what corporations sacrifice in order to meet their bottom lines?

With the public outcries and rage resulting from corporate recklessness, it is difficult to imagine the American citizenry is suffering from an incurable apathy. No, the problem is not caring too little or too much. Rather, the problem is the insanity which pervades the collective mind, thinking corporations will learn from their mistakes and take the high road after they make a mistake—but this does not happen. It is in direct competition with the fundamentals capitalism.

It should come as no surprise what Shell Oil did was done, nor should it be a surprise as to the company’s motives. BP didn’t learn from the Deepwater disaster, so why would Shell Oil? These corporations are, by definition, insane. The only way to bring them back to sanity is to break the cycle, to change.

It is no longer possible to deny what is happening—one must simply move on and accept it.

Then steps can be taken to change the way society works.

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