Risk-taking rises as oil rigs in gulf drill deeper

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  • Publicado : 8 de septiembre de 2010
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A realistic perspective known as the Malthusian school of thought argues that limits are imposed by the environment. This school of thought is named after the Reverend Thomas Malthus, whose essayfrom the mid-1800's "An Essay on the Principle of Population" argued that populations can grow faster than food production can increase, with starvation the consequence if growth isn't limited. Accordingto many people, it seems that even if somehow we could meet energy and food needs, eventually the world would fill up. This article, Risk-Taking Rises as Oil Rigs in Gulf Drill Deeper written by JadMouawad and Barry Meier, also takes on a Malthusian perspective.

A three billion dollar rig named Perdido pumps oil up to two miles under the sea on the Gulf of Mexico. Major offshoreaccidents are not common; but whether through equipment failure or human error, the risks increase as the rigs get larger and more complicated. The water temperature deep under the sea is barely abovefreezing temperature. Such a low temperature can harden natural gas into crystal like structures called hydrates that can clog pipelines and other equipment. Hurricanes are another issue that oil rigs mustface. Hundreds of offshore platforms and pipelines were destroyed by hurricanes Rita and Katrina in 2005. A Shell platform called Mars was badly damaged when its drilling rig tumbled over in HurricaneKatrina causing equipment to shatter and steel pipes to disperse into the ocean. This in turn affects natural habitats. Millions of organisms have to relocate or die when platforms are built anddrilling occurs. No matter how advanced the oil rig and platform, organisms are going to be negatively affected by it.

On the other hand, some people think that our supply of resources isbasically infinite. This school of thought is known as the Cornucopian way. They argue that we could exploit outer space, or use as resources things that we can't imagine now. For example, they cite the...
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