Call me crazy, but it seems that amid all of the fist pounding and brow beating associated with the spill in the gulf, that something is missing.  As we invent mechanisms to gather every drop of the precious crude and figure out ways to mitigate the financial damage to mega-corporations we wait for someone to provide a plan.  Politicians are making threats and babbling around in circles, acting as if they are not at the mercy of powerful oil lobbyists.  Scientists are focused on stopping the leak and mitigating damage to the environment, as well they should be right now.

But where is the long-term vision?  Recently, over dinner with some friends and family this conversation arose and consensus was pretty clear that if this disaster does not provide the impetus for our country to seriously seek an alternative fuel source to power our cars and lives, what will?

So that is the problem isn’t it?  With all of this happening, the destruction, the loss of human and wildlife, and the heavy burden of emotional despair both near and far, it is still, in essence, behavior as usual.  This is a concern.  If not now, when?  If not this, what?

There is one silver lining in this massive gray cloud that is the spill in the gulf, and that is the amount of human ingenuity that has been thrown at the problem.  Government, business, and local person alike have thrown their backs and wallets into finding a solution.   I know that necessity is the mother of invention, and so I know we will invent a way to stop this leak eventually.

So join me now for a moment and picture this:  as the spill is stopped, and the clean-up begins our attention is bound to shift. Rather than the resources currently allocated to fixing this problem dispersing back to their ordinary lives, what if an even larger project began.  What if all of the intellectual property, the mechanical knowhow, the men and women, the bankers and lawyers, the politicians, scientists and business people immediately went to work on creating a viable alternative to fulfill our needs?  What would happen if BP shifted the context of its business model away from drilling and chose to become the leader in this pioneering endeavor?

I would think that if there were such a willingness expressed under the proper leadership this tipping point might lead us to a brighter tomorrow.             


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