the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

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The cost of the volcano

So here's an interesting question. If airlines want to fly people through volcanic ash, and pilots and cabin crew are willing to do it (with or without danger pay, negotiated and agreed-to), and passengers are happy to go, and everyone's signing disclaimers so there's no suing if things go wrong, and airlines are willing to (say) put some dosh in escrow to cover the cost of emergency services if they're needed, then should people be allowed to continue flying?

Naturally, if nothing went wrong then everyone would be saying the scientists were wrong (again, what is the world coming to etc etc), and if things did go wrong, then some families and loved ones would be suing anyway because even the remotest chance of a fat payout because of a loophole or allegation of misrepresentation would be worth pursuing.

And if you consider the health and safety implications of flying across the sky in a 180 tons of metal being held up by nothing more than burning fossil fuels and insufficient wingspan to glide to the ground if that fuel stops burning (*koff* not really - Ed.), it's a miracle that any unionised worker is allowed on an airplane at all.

In the meantime, the economic cost of the shutdown is astronomical, and there are already noises that governments will need to bail everybody out. Now, I think that all religions are nonsense, but even if we suppose that some of them aren't, there are no religious texts that I'm aware of that say that airplane owners are entitled to make a guaranteed profit from flying people around, and that if the planet's magnificent and unpredictable workings get in the way of that profit, then money should be taken by force from the public to compensate them (update: on second thoughts...)

Except for the religion of The Government Must Do Something, I guess.

That, and because Gordon Brown gets shivers down his spine at the prospect of taxpayers being allowed to hang on to too much of what they earn.

{2010.04.18 - 13:24}


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