Engineering Change

Amara Rozgus, Editor in Chief, Consulting-Specifying Engineer, CFE Media Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine. She is an independent, award-winning professional with a strong technical background who excels at communication and deadline-driven project management.

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The bright side of the Gulf Oil Spill

I’m trying to find something positive about the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. Do you see any bright spots in this mess?

07/14/2010


I’m trying to find something positive about the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. (This live video feed is kind of interesting to watch, but it doesn’t quell my uneasiness.) It’s not working, so I’ll steal something an upcoming author noted in a recent e-mail exchange (thanks, Grahame):

Britain might be considered responsible for the United States finally moving to a sustainable future when history books are written in 50 years.

I realize that history is often written by the winners, so here’s how the United States will come out a winner in this whole mess:

  1.  Building owners and engineers will work harder and faster to incorporate alternative fuel sources. Several are already in play; solar and wind power will see an uptick.
  2. American will realize that we cannot be dependent on other countries’ companies to provide our natural resources in a wise manner, and we’ll become more dependent on U.S.-based companies who have a greater stake in the local environment.
  3.  People and businesses who use oil in any form (gas for our cars, oil for vinyl, etc.) will learn that its supply has consequences. It doesn’t just get pumped out of a gas station or arrive in a nice barrel; its acquisition has a huge impact on the environment and its people.
  4. Laws will change that demand companies like BP be smarter in their oil acquisition. This will be costly up-front, but will ultimately be safer. A deep-well drilling moratorium already has been unveiled.

I’ve learned a lot about where our oil comes from. The U.S. Energy Information Administration keeps track of and shares the oil import levels. A lot more comes from our immediate neighbors than I realized.

But I’m looking for bright spots in this mess. Care to share your positive thoughts?



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