Op-Ed: To save the Earth, think like a ‘blue water’ sailor
Imagine this: A crewed ship on a routine trip is en route between home and distant ports. They are sailing by the clock, with the only other ship, the one with the other crew, some 10 miles behind.
The ship is in good shape, well supplied with food and water, its equipment in good working order. It appears in good health. It’s sailing in clean, fresh seas during the day, at night it is in full view of the horizon.
Then, at 2 in the morning, a storm hits.
The captain sees the approaching ship, thinks it is another of the many on his route. This ship he has not seen before, maybe it’s going to hit his coast and he can’t stop it, and if that happens, he doesn’t know if he can swim.
Do you think the captain gets a good look at the ship? Most likely not. His eyes are always looking ahead, not at his crewmates. He watches the horizon in the morning, and when he crosses it, he knows the ship will be just over the line.
His eyes are never off the horizon, and he makes a decision that could mean the difference between life and death for him and everyone on board, his crew mates and his cargo.
A ship approaching a dangerous coast is in a “dangerous situation.” It’s heading into stormy waters, and has to sail close to the wind to make its way to an anchor or to a harbor. It can’t avoid the dangerous coast.
The ship’s crew knows the situation. The captain sees the vessel in their path and he must make the best decision he can.
How does he decide? In a “dangerous situation” he faces the task of getting everyone on board out of harm’s way.
The captain doesn’t “think.” He is not an “artist.” He doesn’t try to think logically, or solve problems.