I’m not referring to swans covered in oil. I’m referring to the theory of black swan events, developed by Nassim Taleb. These events are characterized by the fact that they are rare, hard to predict, have a high impact and the psychological biases that make people blind to the chance they occur and the magnitude of their outcome.
The BP oil spill (or more appropriately, leak) is just such an event. Nobody thought it would would happen and nobody understood the impact if it did happen.
Here’s the poop: no matter how advanced the offshore drilling technology, and the current technology is very advanced, these types of events are bound to happen. Given that, the question becomes is the inevitable impact worth the oil?