Cleve Francis
cardiologist, musician

Cleve Francis

Cardiologist; President, Mount Vernon Cardiology Associates, Alexandria, Va.; musician.

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Change the game

Q: What do you do when your best effort fails? BP has ended its 'Top Kill" attempt to stop the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, and will focus on containment. When a plan didn't work for you, did you quit, or keep on trying? Would you approach the issue in the same way today?

A longstanding rule in tennis is "always change a losing game." I think it was a good thing for BP to abandon the "Top Kill" when it was clear that it would not work.

Now what?

At this point, BP has to look both within and outside for solutions. This is especially true since trying to close a leak at this depth is unprecedented. It will take the best efforts from many sources. This has become a battle not only for BP and the federal government, but a battle of man against a man-made catastrophe with far-reaching environmental and economic consequences.

While the leak continues to flow, the blame game continues. I suspect that this part is necessary because of the magnitude of the financial and the political cost associated with this disaster. In our current civilization, this part is unavoidable.

But the elephant in the room has not been addressed. Our current dependence on the use of fossil fuel as an energy source and our continued lack of personal, political and financial will to do something about it. We have had many warnings in the past and we have failed to respond. This leak is yet another such warning, this time close to home, allowing us to see first-hand the price we are paying.

What we really need is to have a crash program to reduce our dependence on oil. We need to do this as soon as possible. Not just a feeble effort and a lot of lip service. Until we change this losing game, things like this will continue to happen with increasing frequency.

By Cleve Francis  |  June 3, 2010; 12:00 AM ET  | Category:  failure Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Driving through setbacks | Next: Slippery slope

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