Saturday, July 3, 2010

Black Swan Killer

A couple of weeks ago, I speculated on the requirements and design of a system which could scale up to cleaning oil spills of any size.

Now, I'm both chagrined and gratified to learn that a component of the system I described already exists and has been available since long before I started thinking about it.

It's an ocean-going vessel that can skim huge volumes of oil. It meets the requirements that I laid down. Its name, on the back, is an in-your-face "A WHALE".

We need a fleet of these ships. We need a Manhattan project to build them. And they need to be maintained in constant readiness - to provide insurance for governments to authorize; oilmen to invest; fishermen to fish; tourists to come; and merchants to open their doors to receive them.

If "A WHALE" works, a fleet of these ships could take the Black Swan risk of finding oil off the table. I can't think of a better project for public money to subsidize and maintain.

It could change everything.

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