Post BP: The Age of Precaution
by Chip Ward
When, once again, we come to realize that everything we thought we knew is wrong.
The catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico will generate passionate debate. We will critique BP’s profit-saving shortcuts and poor safety record, the Bush-era regulators who were literally in bed with oil corporations. We’ll debate any number of other issues, laws, policies and practices related to the catastrophe…but at the heart of the matter is something much deeper we must get to: If we want to stop our culture’s self-destructive habits and learn sustainable behaviors, if we want to survive our mistakes and thrive tomorrow, then we must shed our hubris and learn to be humble and wise. The age of hubris, a time when all things are knowable, all problems can be fixed and all limits surpassed, is crashing all around us.