Sunday, May 30, 2010

More of the same old stuff: the value of data/information

In this context it is interesting to follow the discussion on the impact of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in Democracy Now on May 28.

This is, what President Obama has said in his press conference

"I think it is a legitimate concern to question whether BP's interests in being fully forthcoming about the extent of the damage is aligned with the public interest. I mean, their interest may be to minimize the damage and, to the extent that they have better information than anybody else, to not be fully forthcoming. So, my attitude is, we HAVE TO VERIFY WHATEVER IT IS THEY SAY [my emphasis] about the damage. This is an area, by the way, where I do think our efforts fell short.

And here is a typical answer from the environmentalists "
JUAN GONZALEZ: This is now the largest oil spill in American history, but there was a prior even bigger oil spill off the coast of Mexico back in-I think it was 1979. Could you talk about what was learned in terms of the impact of that spill on the Gulf?

WENONAH HAUTER: Well, I THINK [my emphasis] that it takes many, many years for the species to be-to come back and that there are still impacts on the Gulf today.
This is not really a lot of detail of understanding what is happening comparing to the details she cites about BP etc. And the Golf is something close to the US, unlike the rest of the world where most of the biodiversity is.

It also shows, WHY it is important that we have real data as opposed to guestimates.


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