CNN’s Hand-Wringing Over the Cost of MH370 Search

mh370As the search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 enters it’s third month, CNN has finally removed the story from their incessant “Breaking News” feed and are increasingly wringing their hands over the cost of the search. Approximately $40 million has been spent so far, the next phase is projected to cost around $60 million, and long term estimates suggest the final cost may be as high as $250 million. So fucking what?

It’s important to realize these are total cost projections, presumably to be split among multiple nations as well as the various companies involved. It’s not as if any single country or company is going to foot the bill. But even if they did … so fucking what? How does the high estimate of $250 million compare to a few other things?

The final cost of the search for MH370 could potentially pay for the following:

  1. One year’s salary for Opera Winfrey.
  2. Al Gore’s compensation for 250 days.
  3. Tim Cook’s compensation for 250 days.
  4. The combined annual salaries of 10 good news anchors, or 25 Anderson Coopers.
  5. About 0.625% of the cost to BP for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
  6. Two or three vacations for a US President (choose Bush or Obama as your villain of choice … it’s not as if the other is cheap).

The thing of it is: This is the 21st century. It is unfathomable that an aircraft with 239 souls on board can simply vanish without a trace, never to be found. It simply must be found, because if it’s not, what does that say about us as a culture, as a planet, as a technological civilization? That an aircraft can simply vanish in 2014 represents a failure of the human race and of our technological civilization. Facebook knows what products I might be interested in, but we can’t find that plane. Google knows what search results I might be interested in, but we can’t find that plane. If I get lost in a desert, or if my car gets stolen, either can be located to within one meter. But we can’t find that fucking plane? It’s not acceptable.

Sure, there is a price to be paid for continuing to search for MH370. But there is also a price to be paid for giving up, and I think that price is higher.

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4 Responses to CNN’s Hand-Wringing Over the Cost of MH370 Search

  1. Rattlesnake says:

    It’s also 0.00368% of the US’s 2013 budget deficit and 0.00143% of the US’s current debt according to the Debt Clock, or 0.0000118% of the US’s current debt according to Bloomberg Business Week.

    • Yup. In terms of national budgets, $250 million is hardly expensive. And as I said in the post, I personally believe the cost of giving up is greater.

      Hey …. what did you make of that dickhead company — Georesonance — that claims to be able to run an NMR of a sample at the bottom of the sea from a satellite, using obsolete Soviet technology? I don’t know if you caught the media attention that got a week or so ago. It’s like a Star Trek tricorder and a dowsing rod all rolled into one. Depressing that the media doesn’t even make a minimal effort to weed out pseudoscience.

    • Rattlesnake says:

      To be fair, CNN doesn’t seem to make any attempt to weed out stuff that it would be generous to call pseudoscience. I wouldn’t be surprised if they interviewed that guy from Ancient Aliens about what he thought happened to the plane.

      You have to actually send something through a magnetic field and then have some kind of device to measure the frequency to get NMR data, right? (I just had to be able to read NMR data for chemistry class, not know how NMR spectrometers work). It still doesn’t take very long to look up what NMR spectroscopy is…

  2. Oh yeah …. takes a powerful magnetic field, whether it’s an sample tube in an NMR, or a person’s head in an MRI device. Definitely tons of job security in that field. Good NMR specialists are hard to come by.

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