Friday, May 28, 2010

the art of the backdown

oil producer british petroleum (BP) ceo tony hayward, forecasting the damage, or lack thereof, to the gulf of mexico from the ongoing and as-yet-uncontrolled flood of crude oil from the well damaged by the destruction of his deepsea drilling rig deepwater horizon:

i think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be very, very modest. it is impossible to say — we will mount, as part of the aftermath, a very detailed environmental assessment as we go forward. we're going to do that with some of the science institutions in the u.s., but everything we can see, at the moment, suggests that the overall environmental impact of this will be very, very modest. (may 18)

ten days later ...

it is clear that we're dealing with a very significant environmental crisis and catastrophe. ... a cup of oil on the shore is failure. ... in that regard, we have failed to defend the shoreline to the degree and extent that we believed we could. (may 28)
(tip of the hat to think progress.)

update: too true, john cole. too true ...

when the oil company that caused the mess is using this terminology, you have to wonder how horrible it is ...

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