Oil Spill Trends Show Not as Rare

There is a great deal of coverage and debate around the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Tar is washing up on the beaches of the South.

I recently did a podcast on Black Swan Theory. (you can listen to the podcast here: Black Swan Theory on Check It Out Podcast. A Black Swan is an event that happens with wide impact despite the fact that it has very low odds of occurring when compared to other events. Things like floods, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, and oil spills are all black swans. They are rare, difficult to predict, but greatly impact our lives.

For more on Black Swan Theory take a look at this Wikipedia entry, Black Swan Theory. This is one entry that is pretty good.

It seems that the oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico is a Black Swan. But, we can look at “Oil Spill” Search Trendson Google, and we can see when searches for this term spike. The spikes in searches line up pretty well with other oil spills such as the one that was in San Francisco Bay and the one in Korea. This oil spill feels like a rare event, but they are not that rare as they feel. They are a cost of using oil. The expense for the clean up is sort of like a hidden tax that we must pay at irregular intervals.

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