Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ethics demand future to be rewritten

by Franco Oboni
Franco Oboni

(Riskope, Vancouver B.C. Canada; email:

I have always been of the opinion that mythology, ancient Greek Gods, the disappearance of Atlantis, the Plagues of Egypt and many more "legends" were actually accounts of real events, reinterpreted, distorted and made more vivid by millennials of oral transmission, re-interpretations and sheer thrill in magnifying horror stories still present in our media.

At each new report of massive oil spills, red tides, masses of plastic debris floating in our Oceans, watercourses and lakes coloured by algae (for example Burgundy Blood Algae, Chromatiaceae bacteria) that thought has come back.
In a very distant future our successors (may be Humans, may be someone else) will likely find some sort of record of these events, possibly lumped up in a single epic account about water pollution at the transition between the Electromechanical and the Cyber-Informational Eras in our planet. It is likely that dissociated events we see happening in our world today will by then have become a "mega-event", associated to a "Plague of the Planet".

Recently the media displayed the mind boggling pictures of colored waters oozing out of one (small) closed mine in Colorado, tainting miles of river courses. Pictures of recent Tailings (and other bulk wastes) Dams breaches.
We Humans can do something to avoid these failures (and the ones that will occur in the future) to become a long string of mega-events that will feed the legends of the future. To reach that goal we have to set well balanced, rational goals. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not a political campaign, this is the beginning of we, Humans, writing a different book for our successors.

Goals like "zero failures" have only demagogical value: we know zero failure is unattainable, especially in the long(er) term.
Many mines are already closed, there is no money (or technology) capable of performing a "fix-it-all" wham-bang it's done.

So, once again, there is only one reasonable way to "rewrite" the book of our future: prioritizing actions based on well balanced risk criteria, risk based decision making, risk based (and not hazard-based) peer review. "Rewriting the future" should be part of our Social Responsibility.