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Education Earth Science

Gulf Oil Spill Disaster — Spawn of the Living Dead 228

Posted by timothy
from the less-on-your-plate dept.
grrlscientist writes "A recently published study, intended to provide data to commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico so they maximize their catch of Yellowfin Tuna, Thunnus albacares, whilst avoiding bycatch of critically endangered Atlantic (Northern) Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus, suggests that the Deepwater Horizon oil leak may devastate the endangered Atlantic bluefin population, causing it to completely collapse or possibly go extinct."
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Gulf Oil Spill Disaster — Spawn of the Living Dead

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:28PM (#32526058)

    Not trolling here, but since when is its mankind's responsibility to save every variety of every species of animal on the planet? I know that we have been responsible for the extinction of many species, but does that now make us responsible for stopping extinction altogether? Huge swaths [wikipedia.org] of species went extinct long before man even came along, and so it seems pretty clear that it's part of the natural order. So are we now supposed to completely stop that natural process out of some sense of guilt (because we have arrogantly decided that we're not part of the natural order)?

    I'm not saying we should just go out an hunt every species we feel like to extinction, or poison the water whenever we feel like it. That would be neither responsible nor wise. But I am saying that it's not our responsibility to save every species in the world that happens to exist now, not our place to end "extinction" itself as a process.

    • by decipher_saint (72686) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:31PM (#32526088) Homepage

      It's pretty simple actually, biological diversity is important.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Demonantis (1340557)
        We don't know what is acceptable diversity though. There have been periods of mass extinction [wikipedia.org] that occur randomly and the ecosystem survives.
        • by linzeal (197905) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:49PM (#32526334) Homepage Journal
          The ecosystem survives but typically the top predators are all replaced.
          • by Zerth (26112)

            The ecosystem survives but typically the top predators are all replaced.

            Thank goodness for big cats, drop bears, and elevated floor tiles!

            Otherwise we'd be on the chopping block at the top of the food chain.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by vm146j2 (233075)

          Yes, there have: 5 major ones in 4 billion years. The difference this time is we get to participate, both as an agent, and a sufferer!

        • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:54PM (#32526392)

          No, something survives and a new ecosystem eventually evolves. In the meantime (read: several million years) the survivors are in complete disarray as population numbers fluctuate wildly without the normal predator/prey relationships in effect, something which would not bode well for human civilization. Diversity is good, it is the damping that makes an otherwise unstable system become stable.

        • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:08PM (#32526600)

          Ask me if I care that the ecosystem rebounds in a few million years. Really, do ask me. Or ask the people whose livelihood depends on a healthy ecosystem.

          Can we stop with this idiotic argument that the universe will survive just fine without humans? No shit, Sherlock. Way to state the obvious, Capt'n Obvious. In the meantime, I'd like to make sure that my life is nice and cushy, and that of my kids as well. Unfortunately, that requires a stable ecosystem. And a hallmark of a stable ecosystem is a diverse ecosystem.

          • by Swanktastic (109747) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:48PM (#32527106)

            Do you care that the ecosystem rebounds in a few million years?

          • While I wouldn't use something like a mass extinction event to underscore my point, I think the parent that you are responding to made a legitimate claim in his first sentence:

            We don't know what is acceptable diversity though.

            This is a genuine point. While we realize that diversity is good, yes, we do not, to my knowledge, have any objective indicator of good/bad bounds on diversity. If you look at the natural history of any area of the world, you will see that species have died off, at almost all levels of the food chain, at various points in time. Somet

            • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:26PM (#32527646)

              And to be very specific, I don't think you, or anybody else, is going to die because one species of tuna collapsed in the North Atlantic.

              Very true. But at some point, the accumulation of species extinction is going to hit us, and especially if that species happens to be a keystone species. God help us all if krill happens to become extinct. It'll be Soylent Green for all of us.

              The point is that arguing that a) in the long run, it's all a wash and b) it's just one species manages to both be way to far-sighted and way to short-sighted. The collapse of the blue-fin Tuna has to be seen in the context of the collapse of a lot of other fish species. It's not that it is just one species that might disappear, it's that it is another one in a long line of species.

              Finally, the big problem is that disappearance of one species indicates that more issues might be afoot in the environment, which could cause more species to disappear.

            • by ultranova (717540) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:49PM (#32528034)

              However, it is not the only fish to fill it's particular role in said food chain. In fact, the article and even the summary comments on one of the Bluefin's natural competitor's the Yellowfin Tuna. This is just one example of many other competitors that occupy the same, or very similar ecological roles as the Bluefin. Thus, what I think the parent was trying to get at was that even if the Bluefin population collapses (which, of course, would suck to some extent or another), it would not be some great ecological crisis.

              Having two fish species compete in the same ecological niche means that you can lose one of them without catastrophic consequences. However, it also means that if you do lose Bluefin, and then something happens to Yellowfin - a plague, for example - there are no more Bluefins to take over.

              Having multiple species that fill the same role is good precisely because it makes the ecosystem more robust; ergo, losing those redundant species makes ecosystem more fragile, even if it doesn't collapse oturight.

              In fact, since we don't know exactly what the optimal amount of diversity for a given ecosystem is, claiming, generally, that diversity is good and so extinction is bad is pretty disingenuous. For all we know, a given ecosystem may actually need a particular species to die out so that the rest of the ecosystem may maintain equilibrium.

              No. All data we have points to more diverse ecosystems being more robust. The only exceptions are situations where a species has been introduced to outside its normal ecosystem and lacked any natural enemies to keep it in check in the new environment.

              And even if your speculation was correct - and there's no reason to think it is - there would still be no reason to assume that it applies to Bluefin and to this situation.

    • by Utini420 (444935)

      I don't think that's really the point on this one. It isn't an instance of saving the adorable but useless spotted whatever, which we've messed up by destroying its habitat or something. This is an instance of hungry people have eaten up almost all that tasty tasty tune (actually, I hate tune, but that's not the point) and what little is left is about to be rendered unappetizing or dead.

      This is actually environmentalism in its most selfish (and thus, from a certain point of view, best) form: if you want t

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Have you ever had it properly cooked?
        Canned tuna is not very good.

        • Here in Tokyo the idea of cooking tuna (except maybe to sear it a bit, 'aburi' style) would be severely frowned upon... ;-)
          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            That is the only proper way to cook it. What sort of heathen would cook it another way?

            I myself prefer totally raw, but I figured you may be an american and they often can't deal with that. Not a value judgment just an observation. On the coasts it seems more common.

            • by Darinbob (1142669)
              I don't like it raw. I can eat it, but it's bland bland bland with an awful texture. But cooked, it's awesome. Same with salmon. Not fond of the seared stuff either, tasty tuna in one layer, squishy goop in the other.
        • by Utini420 (444935)

          Canned tuna looks and smells like shitty cat food. I'll pass, regardless of preparation.

          Raw tuna, as in sushi, looks delicious. Alas, looks can be deceiving. Oh, how I've longed to enjoy tuna, salmon, and various other pretty tasty things and be cool like all the other hipsters and edgerunners, but alas, I really can't stand the stuff. I've tried everything from simple salmon-on-some-rice to squid tentacles, so this isn't a case of an American who won't try new things. I've just had to accept that rega

          • by Yuan-Lung (582630)

            I've tried everything from simple salmon-on-some-rice to squid tentacles.

            Would you conclude all hamburgers are bad from eating every kind of burgers in McDonald's and Wendy's?

            I am not saying everyone should love sushi, just trying to point out, even the simple salmon/tuna, there can be massive difference depending on what you are getting from where. IMHO, anything made from farmed Atlantic salmon should go straight into a can of cat food, or just into the can. Albacore tuna is just a slimy and tasteless mess. However, I would never say no to a piece of properly made nigiri

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Ecosystems are notoriously hard to fix once they get out of whack.

    • Straw man much? No one is claiming we should save every species. You yourself say we shouldn't poison or hunt species into extinction. That is all anyone is talking about here, so you could have just said that and left out the straw man completely. It's not as if these tuna were about to go extinct on their own, and now there is a huge campaign to save them. We are responsible, and not to the tuna but to the people whose livelihood depends on them, and to the people like me who find them delicious.

      • We are responsible, and not to the tuna but to the people whose livelihood depends on them, and to the people like me who find them delicious.

        You know, I find it very interesting that we are the only species that claims responsibility for its role in the extinction of other species. It is not as if we are the only creatures to cause the extinction of another species on this planet. Ten thousand years ago or so, various species of wolf out-competed the Dire Wolf and drove that animal to extinction. Yet, those wolves display no natural tendencies or abilities to rectify such a situation (if, rectification is indeed necessary).

        Now, granted, we

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Now, granted, we humans are much more intelligent than most species on this planet

          Let's cut the self hate. We ARE the most intelligent species on the planet. With that intelligence comes an understanding of certain activities.

          1.
          We like to eat bluefin tuna. Making adjustments to keep them from dying allows us to eat them in the future.

          2. Killing off the Bluefin Tuna could have drawbacks. It makes sense to understand these drawbacks before we continue on our course of exterminating them. Maybe the draw

        • by bhagwad (1426855)
          Have you considered that we might be like bacteria thriving on an organism and ultimately killing it off? That's natural too right? The only difference is that bacteria know how to spread from one person to another, while we're stuck on this planet. Killing it finishes us off too.

          Evolution and natural selection aren't some external agencies like gods that we have to follow. There is no "big scheme of things." We're in this universe. Everything around us is dead and doesn't give a fuck what happens. We'
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Not save them, how about not killing them all?

      This is not some natural occurrence, this is the result of some greedy assholes.

      • this is the result of some greedy assholes.

        Greed has demonstrated itself to be a very effective trait in ensuring a human's survival in the modern world. Perhaps greed is nothing more than another specialization trait that allows humans to compete very effectively in the current global ecosystem. Are there any studies linking a particular gene or genes to an overdeveloped coveting response (like some chemical reaction in the brain that is more powerful in 'greedy' individuals because their genes specified a particular over-sized gland or something?

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:36PM (#32526156) Journal
      Well, in this case, it is in humanity's self-interest, if nothing else, because bluefin tuna are legendarily tasty.

      The ethical duties, if any, of environmental preservation are debatable. The fact that crashing the population of a species you like to eat is stupid and self-defeating isn't.
    • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:38PM (#32526182) Homepage

      I don't think it is our responsability to save "every" species...but I think it's our responsability to save species that we have directly endangered through our own actions, whether those actions are on purpose or a mistake.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by elrous0 (869638) *
        The problem is that, in their guilt trip, biologists have blamed man for the state of pretty much every endangered species on the planet. Can you name a single endangered species (or even variety of species) that man is *not* blamed for right now? I doubt there is even one. So that means that we are supposed to preserve every single species that happens to exist at this particular moment in our planet's history, like some weird zoo where we've effectively stopped natural selection?
        • by Pojut (1027544)

          The problem is that, in their guilt trip, biologists have blamed man for the state of pretty much every endangered species on the planet.

          You are, sadly, correct with this statement. I wish you weren't, but you are -_-;;

          So that means that we are supposed to preserve every single species that happens to exist at this particular moment in our planet's history, like some weird zoo where we've effectively stopped natural selection?

          Absolutely not...but, as you implied, due to the politicization of the issue, it would be near impossible to only actively work to save the species that we have directly affected.

          "In an honest world", and all that.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by h4rr4r (612664)

            So statements of fact are a guilt trip?
            STOP MAKING EMOTIONAL VALUE JUDGMENTS ABOUT FACTS. That sort of shit is what makes people ignore oil spills, global whatever and pretty much every big problem.

            • by Pojut (1027544)

              True, we indirectly or directly affect most living things on this planet due to our technology and waste...but I think implying that we affect everything is just as ludicrous as implying that we affect nothing.

              Absolutes aren't really the way to go...

              • by h4rr4r (612664)

                I do not care about absolutes, my issue is that people see facts as good or bad. Note your "sadly". the truth is man has impacted many species, if this is good or bad has jack squat to do with it. It is neither it just is.

                • by Pojut (1027544)

                  I wasn't referring to us affecting things as being sad, I was referring to the fact that many scientists have blamed things on human beings when we have had nothing to to do with.

                  "Sad" in this case being a more polite way of saying "a fucking disgrace".

                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by h4rr4r (612664)

                    Do you have evidence for this?

                    I see lots of statements of fact people take as blame. For a quick example, humans wiped out the wisent. We then restored them to some degree. This is a statement of fact, as we have records of them being killed and they finally ceased to exist in the wild at the end of WW2. The retreating Wehrmacht wiped out the last of them in the wild, no one disputes these facts. It is not blame to say we did this, only a statement of fact.

                • I do not care about absolutes, my issue is that people see facts as good or bad

                  Well there might be a reason for that. As you said, many people apply a quality judgment to statements of fact. Perhaps this very ability is the direct descendant of some naturally selective pressures in mankind's evolution from long ago. The ubiquity of emotional responses to the world we have today strikes me as a mountain of evidence that perhaps such a selective process did occur at one time. Now, that being said, why is it, 'better,' to stick to just addressing the facts and not having an emotional re

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by h4rr4r (612664)

          The reality is man has in one way or another wiped out lots of species, deal with it. This is not a guilt trip, just reality. Stop making emotional judgements about statements of fact. This is not "blame" either just statements of fact. If you run over a cat, pointing that out is not blame just a statement of fact.

          The thing we need to do is protect the ones we like, these tuna taste great.

          • by elrous0 (869638) *
            So your effective argument is that mankind is the only thing causing species extinction now? Because that seems to be the hypothesis that everyone is working under, and I find it ludicrous.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by h4rr4r (612664)

              I made not such claim, but that is a nice strawman you have there. It is not in fact the only hypothesis people are working under, you probably know that too.

              I merely stated you made emotional value judgments about facts.

        • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:56PM (#32526428) Homepage

          The problem is that, in their guilt trip, biologists have blamed man for the state of pretty much every endangered species on the planet. Can you name a single endangered species (or even variety of species) that man is *not* blamed for right now? I doubt there is even one. So that means that we are supposed to preserve every single species that happens to exist at this particular moment in our planet's history, like some weird zoo where we've effectively stopped natural selection?

          Wow, slow down! Try the decaf. Some of us are biologists and not every card carrying biologist is a member of PETA [peta.org]. You do have a point as the environmentalist movement tends to hammer hard on every potential species or ecosystem lost and it's usually, as you mention, the result of evil, nasty, smell 'mankind' (as opposed to 'humankind'). Unfortunately, we really don't know why a lot of extinctions take place. Some of the best studied ones do seem to be human caused. Even early humans may have been responsible for numerous large animal extinctions (go look it up). So we have a long track record in this regard. We also seem to be in the midst of another mass extinction [pbs.org] and one that is at least partially human caused.

          Will 'nature' deal with this 'problem'. Sure will. Come back in a couple of million years and you may find very little sign of homo industrialis. Many people aren't comfortable with that sort of time frame and so they complain, come up with hyperbolic arguments, get elected to Congress and all manner of silly things.

          Truth is, it's hard to separate us from them. We are part of natural selection.

          • by squidfood (149212)

            Some of the best studied ones do seem to be human caused.

            That's because the best-studied ones are the ones we either eat or compete with.

          • Truth is, it's hard to separate us from them. We are part of natural selection.

            That was very well said and I would like to hear your (a Biologist's) perspective on a notion I voiced in one of my long-winded rambles above: here [slashdot.org]

            If you have the time, and you're bored, I would be curious to hear your thoughts regarding my thoughts that a species like humans could be a natural form of checks and balances for natural selection. Specifically, if you have ever heard anything similar voiced, I would be curious to know the source (perhaps someone already wrote a book or something discussing

        • by Chowderbags (847952) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:36PM (#32527822)
          We're blamed because, quite frankly, we've been the single biggest coherent force on this planet for the last 12000 years (give or take a few thousand depending on how remote a location is). Yes, you'll see a few volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, and asteroids, but they're either not particularly harmful, not widespread, or not continuous over a long period. Individually we're not powerful, but we've been diverting large rivers, clearing jungles and leaving deserts, introducing new species that overwhelm the local food web (Kudzu, Argentine Ants, the various domesticated animals that killed the Dodo) or even just changing wilderness into plowed fields and suburbs. The areas we don't inhabit long term, we toss our junk into without a second thought (see the garbage patches in the ocean).

          Yes, if we disappeared tomorrow, the planet would be back to it's old self in a million years. But we won't disappear tomorrow. We'll still be here. And the day after that. And the day after that. And short of a disaster that wipes out every other vertebrate, we'll probably keep on going somehow. But we have to ask ourselves if we really can't do any better (and no, I'm not a neoluddite here, I just hope to live awhile). Should we prefer slightly cheaper gas or beaches that aren't contaminated with oil?
      • by sznupi (719324)

        Not really "responsibility" however you put it; it's simply in our damn self-interest to keep the surroundings decently nice & stable.

    • by Dasher42 (514179) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:38PM (#32526188)

      Like the other poster said, biodiversity is key. It makes natural systems resilient; it means every ecological niche has a backup plan. Everything's in a web of relationships.

      When a species goes extinct, the species in some relationship with it are put under stress or imbalance; it ripples through the system. Eventually the system gets overwhelmed and collapses.

      Just to be clear, our petroleum and pesticide-based agriculture can go so far, and you do not want to live on a planet with collapsed ecosystems after you've destroyed it for a quick buck. It'll be like Easter Island - miserable survivors with no wood to repair their boats, fighting and cannibalizing each other.

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:38PM (#32526190) Homepage

      Not trolling here, but since when is its mankind's responsibility to save every variety of every species of animal on the planet? I know that we have been responsible for the extinction of many species, but does that now make us responsible for stopping extinction altogether?

      Some good reasons:
        - They may prove to be resistant to some new disease, providing vital insight to medical researchers trying to keep humans from falling prey to a similar disease.
        - Losing some species can produce an ecological domino effect, where other species who were dependent on the first one now become endangered or extinct. For instance, if honeybees [wikipedia.org] were to become extinct, that would cause massive problems for corn and grain, which would cause massive problems for humans.
        - Last and certainly least, it would allow us to answer certain kinds of space probes [wikipedia.org].

    • but since when is its mankind's responsibility to save every variety of every species of animal on the planet?

      Since when does humanity have the inherent right to wipe these species out in the first place? That aside, why is it that a corporation like bp can wipe out an entire ecosystem and destroy a species that so many depend on for making a living? Wiping out a species fails on two counts: 1) biodiversity and 2) property rights violation

      • by ultranova (717540)

        That aside, why is it that a corporation like bp can wipe out an entire ecosystem and destroy a species that so many depend on for making a living?

        Social Darwinism, also known as the survival of the richest.

    • (btw, if you link to Permian-Triassic, you might also to this one [wikipedia.org])

      Continuing survival, in decent form, of as many species as possible would be a damn good sign - it would basically mean the environment on which they depend is in moderately good shape; and stable.
      Now...we also depend on quality and stability of surroundings. We might be one of the last among the megafauna to get hit, with our high adaptability, but we can get hit eventually, too.

      But instead we're in the middle of...a mass extinction, one of

    • by Altus (1034)

      I don't think you understand. These are very tasty fish.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ultranova (717540)

      Not trolling here, but since when is its mankind's responsibility to save every variety of every species of animal on the planet?

      Since when we realized that every snapped link in the food web makes it weaker and more likely to collapse completely, which would be rather unpleasant for us.

      I know that we have been responsible for the extinction of many species, but does that now make us responsible for stopping extinction altogether?

      Yes. Every extinction weakened the balance of the ecosystem, making it more

    • by tthomas48 (180798)

      While I don't agree with your point, it's unrelated to the topic at a hand. This is a VERY popular animal for eating. That's why it's over-fished in the first place. So a massive point of saving them is - so we can continue eating them. This isn't really an environmental question. It's a business and quality of life question.

  • Title? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Ltap (1572175) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:31PM (#32526080) Homepage
    While it is a serious issue, I'll give Slashdot readers enough credit to actually read this story based on its importance, rather than an exaggerated, attention-grabbing title.
  • So which BP exec is going to pay for this?

    It is was already bad enough that I only eat them once a year or less since the damn Japanese eat them all, but now you bastards are going to extinct the best fish. BP execs should be ground up and used as tuna feed on pacific blue fin farms.

    Fuck you BP.

  • Ummm, no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:31PM (#32526086)
    When a single bluefin tuna can bring $75,000 at market, it's not Deepwater Horizon, no matter how horrific, that's causing bluefin tuna to go extinct.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:45PM (#32526278) Homepage Journal
    before any of you free market lunatics blurt out anything, BP vouched for the viability of the oil well operation by a PRIVATE report they prepared, and government has approved. perfectly 'private sector' style, 'free market'ish.

    just like how PRIVATE companies which were doing business with wall street, vouched for and 'regulated' wall street.

    this makes two, just in the span of 1.5 years. if there are still morons who can say 'free market regulates itself', it means they need to be 'regulated' with a thick stick.
    • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:59PM (#32526488)
      I really have to agree with this sentiment. Both of these are Tragedy of the Commons [wikipedia.org] events, where single individuals (corporations) are overexploiting all of us, consequences be damned. Unfortunately, we've built a system where corporations have no responsibilities to anything or anyone beyond their own profit motive.
    • by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:33PM (#32526910) Homepage Journal

      Right, your government overlords have done a great job there at MMS 'regulating' the underpants, gifts, money, hookers and crack off the toaster ovens.

      I am a Free Market 'lunatic' by your definition, but my definition of the Free Market includes the government, which does the job of suing the shit out of violators, punishing for any criminal offenses, doing the work that it is supposed to do: punishing the guilty.

      Take the BP's money, take the BP management's money, put BP management to prison, put MMS workers to prison.

      Take all BP money and use it not to fix the problem and as reparations and as an incentive for other companies to behave.

      Government knows jack shit about anything in any actual real business. Government does not understand economy or leaky pipes. Government should do one thing and excel at it: punish the guilty severely. Everything else government will butcher and put an impossible price tag on.

      • by unity100 (970058)
        no good punishing anyone does, after an entire ocean and god knows what percentage of global ecosystem is fucked. what is needed is prevention.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by roman_mir (125474)

          the only single way to stop such incidents in the future from happening is to punish, punish, punish and punish more and punish severely for any transgressions.

          without punishment that is severe swift and strong there are no incentives for anyone to do the job right, this includes the regulators who are also people and will also corrupt the process.

          i am against any and all regulations at all, there is not a single regulation i am for. there is only one thing that governments need to do: punish.

          There is no r

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by unity100 (970058)
            punishment doesnt work. punishment never worked. back in 1560, penalty for smuggling, trading with non royal companies in spanish main was death, yet, everyone smuggled.

            the punishment for numerous corporate crimes is death in china, yet still many ceos are committing those crimes.

            punishment doesnt work. its stupid to punish something, after a crime is committed.
            • by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @04:30PM (#32527736) Homepage Journal

              Punishment does not work if it is not done correctly. Punish the management and it will work.

              More importantly than that, in life people may not necessarily pay attention to possibility of punishment because they may believe they will get away with murder or anything else.

              But in a large company, with MANY people working there, if the blame for the problem can be assigned to more than one person and everybody is aware of the possible consequences punishment will work.

              It will work because in case of a company it concerns not a single individual but many people.

              Probably one of the most important steps in punishment though is confiscation of all money and property. This must be part of the punishment to severe forms of crime like the one BP, Transocean and Halliburton have committed here.

              oh, and shooting in the head is not optional.

      • by asc99c (938635)

        Why is everyone so fixated on BP's management and failings, when they were just leasing a rig owned and operated by Transocean? Yes, the fact they were getting the profits from the rig means they have a duty to pay the costs of the disaster, and they are doing so with very little complaint. But sending BP's management to prison? It seems like Transocean were the offshore drilling experts, and hadn't made any complaints that BP were asking them to act recklessly in any aspects of the rig operation. I thi

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by h4rr4r (612664)

          Educate yourself. BP management had transocean do things in non normal ways to cut corners and reduce the time to production.

        • by unity100 (970058)
          transocean, bp doesnt matter. its about corporations NOT regulating themselves here.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The reason that punishment won't work as a deterrent is that corporations are fundamentally sociopathic and lack a sense of fear. As institutions they will take risks that individuals don't ... and in some cases the individuals will take risks too.

        Let's put it this way. The penalty for playing Russian Roulette and getting unlucky is death. If I offer someone a million dollars to pull the trigger, though, plenty of people will do it. You think threatening to punish corporations which get unlucky when the

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by roman_mir (125474)

          You are wrong, in case of corporations punishment is a much better deterrent than in case of any single individual.

          It is highly unlikely that all parties that can bear part of the blame in case things will go wrong will take very cavalier attitudes towards their responsibilities.

          when it is one person committing a violent act, murder or burglary or whatever, then it is only one person that needs to step over the line.

          In case of a corporation many people need to step over that line.

          If punishment involved actu

    • by Mex (191941)

      Aren't they "sort of" regulating themselves, tho? Didn't a lot of Wall Street types go broke, and a bunch of companies disappear?

      The problem is that this self-regulation is not exactly the one we'd hope for... they'll fuck up the world before they're gone.

      • by unity100 (970058)
        they arent regulating themselves at all. noone went broke, because the dividends and bonuses were already distributed. any company that is bankrupt now, will be founded under a new name by the perpetrators, to repeat the cycle again.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Trip6 (1184883)

      Mod parent up. I love how the right is blaming Obama for this, when years of cozy relationships between Bush, Cheney, Haliburton, the oil companies, and OPEC have served to dismantle any sense of control and regulation over these greedy fucks. Drill, baby, drill!

  • Genetic archival? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mathinker (909784)

    Does anyone try, for example, to archive tissue samples (and/or genomic sequence info?) of interesting species like the bluefin so we might have a chance of "resurrecting" them (at least approximately) after we advance enough in our knowledge of biology?

    For such an economically valuable species as the bluefin, I would be surprised if someone wasn't doing this. Anyone have any info?

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      We have them in Aquariums and there are efforts to breed and farm them. I am going to bet those folks have plenty of the samples you want.

      • There are efforts, but so far I've only heard of one success in breeding them. From what I understand Tuna is a very hard fish to farm.

All the evidence concerning the universe has not yet been collected, so there's still hope.

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