The Great Debate UK
-Lord Julian Hunt is a Visiting Professor at Delft University of Technology. The opinions expressed are his own.-
In their different ways, the disruption and damage caused by the ongoing Icelandic Volcano eruption, and the major oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, have underlined how low-probability events can wreak havoc locally and across the world.
Both events underline the continuing need for well-established crisis response by international bodies. Risk assessments taking into account all the diverse scientific and social interactions should enable the public and private sector to prepare in advance.
• Although international procedures by UN bodies for dealing simultaneously with volcanic eruptions, meteorology and aviation had been agreed and tested at a technical level since the 1990s, the disruption caused by the Icelandic volcano led EU Transport Ministers call for quicker and more coordinated reaction to such crisis situations.
-Kees Willemse is professor of off-shore engineering, Delft University. The opinions expressed are his own.-
The news that a huge metal cap has been successfully placed over several of the leaking oil vents at the Deepwater Horizon site marks a potential turning point in the Gulf of Mexico crisis.
By Rob Cox and Christopher Swann
Eventually, BP will definitively stop the flow of oil from its deepwater mishap in the Gulf of Mexico. That's when the autopsy will begin in earnest. But if the information dribbling into the public domain proves correct, the British energy giant will be a weakened creature -- so weak it will be vulnerable to a takeover.
Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil are almost certainly running the numbers. Governments ought to be plotting their strategy, too.
-Kees Willemse is professor of offshore engineering at Delft University. The opinions expressed are his own.-
Last month’s explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig continues to result in the leakage of an estimated 200,000 gallons (910,000 litres) of oil into the Gulf of Mexico each day.