Sometimes there's just no fixing what went wrong. Sometimes severe consequences cannot be avoided or mitigated. That is becoming painfully clear in the Gulf of Mexico.
For over a month, untold gallons of crude oil have spewed from the ocean floor into the sea, the result of the failure of a fail-safe system. Everyone assumes that the industries that have the technology to drill miles below sea level also have the technology to cap a leaking well. It's not true.
We are lulled into that false belief by popular culture. We watch TV dramas and movies where, with just the tappity-tap of a keyboard and exotic video screens and databases that can locate, identify, cross-reference and enhance, we can solve complex problems. It just ain't so.
It is also becoming painfully obvious that the oil industry, the scientific community and the Obama administration all are in the dark about what to do and how to do it. Yes, they are trying everything they know to do. But, that's the point. They don't really know what to do. If they did, it would be done.
Technology went awry, as it always does. The so-called safeguards failed. And now, we and the planet suffer the inevitable disaster. Also inevitable will be the blame game, and there is enough of that to go around.
But, in the end, the oily truth is, technology can not save itself from itself. The lesson is that corporate greed usually prevails and government regulation and intervention usually fail. A technological disaster can and will happen again.