Like many, perhaps thousands, I watched in fascination as the Reuters service broadcast the slow, deliberate righting of the Costa Concordia across the Internet.
Initially, progress was excruciatingly slow. Paint dries faster than that thing, apparently, moved. Watching grass grow would have been more fun. But move it did.
In a masterful piece of derring-do, the engineers were able to rotate the ship off the reef that held her and onto an underwater cradle that will hold her, upright and in place, until she can be stabilized and floated off - then to be towed to a scrap yard to be cut up for salvage.
The operation is to cost in the neighborhood of 600 Million Euros. 795 Million Dollars.
The insurance company that now owns the Costa Concordia will never recoup the cost of the salvage operation. Their justification for doing it, rather than cutting her in half and letting her sink to the bottom of the Mediterranean, as noted on the Reuters blog during the course of the evening, supposedly has to do with preventing environmental damage and removing an eyesore from the view of the people of the area.
I'm willing to bet that the real reason has to do with the inevitable lawsuits that would arise from sources both public and private should the Costa not be removed. I am willing to bet that the costs for adjudicating and settling the lawsuits would far exceed the 600 Million Euros that the salvage is going to cost - even though the ship will be gone, there will still be lawsuits but not as many or as large and, of course, there are already lawsuits that have been filed and were going to be filed whether the ship was salvaged or not.
Don't let them tell you that this whole circus isn't about money and trying to look good. Benevolent. Kind and concerned about the environment.
And therein lies the tale. Now you see how to make Corporations pay attention to the environment.
It has to cost them money, lots of money, not to.