Almost anything we say about the Deepwater Horizon tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) may be rendered meaningless by events, so here is an observation that I hope will remain relevant for the long term. The only people who can fix this are the engineers and scientists in the energy industry. That should be obvious, but many people are acting as if capping the well and cleaning up the spill were not a scientific, technical, and industrial challenge, but a legal, political, and rhetorical one. Unfortunately, the physical world, the world of oceans and hydrocarbons does not respond to words. Politicians, lawyers, reporters, commentators all have a role in society, but they have little to offer in this crisis. Displays of anger and finger-pointing will contribute nothing. The people working around the clock to devise solutions are the ones who will stop the flow of oil and clean up the spill. Do you remember the Apollo 13 story? The astronauts were stranded in space, their craft disabled, in mortal danger. They were completely dependent on the engineers in Houston to find a solution so they could regain control of their ship. The engineers did what engineers always do – they worked the problem until they had the answer. The answer was unorthodox, because it was a unique situation. It wasn’t pretty – I recall it involved lots of duct tape – but it was right for the circumstances. We are in the same situation now. The brains of our industry have to work this problem until it is solved. There is no alternative. Vilifying the industry, making wild guesses or indulging in uninformed speculation won’t help. We should respect knowledge and talent at work, help where we can, and avoid making their task any more difficult than it already is. The engineers and scientists will fix this. No one else will. --Peter Duncan, President – MicroSeismic, Inc.