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Adrienne Lawrence

Legal analyst, law professor & award-winning author

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OceanGate sub tragedy shows the wealthy play by different rules

Jun 28, 2023

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As the investigation into the Titan submersible incident continues, some people are questioning if the response was appropriate. Those voices note that just days before the private sub had gone missing, a far bigger maritime disaster occurred in the waters off Greece, in which at least 80 migrants died and hundreds more remain missing. Why did one tragedy receive a much larger response from the media and the public? Straight Arrow News contributor Adrienne Lawrence says the OceanGate sub tragedy shows the wealthy play by different rules.

Last week, it seemed like all eyes were fixed on the saga of the lost Titan submersible, the five-man submarine that was built by OceanGate and went to tour the Titanic at the bottom of the North Atlantic. Now, although we ultimately did learn that the Titan did not vanish, but likely imploded a few hours after its launch, well, we definitely learned a hell of a lot about humanity, or lack thereof, over the four days that the vessel commanded headlines.

With all due respect to the five lives that were lost, the significant tragedy here is our varying valuation of human life. Five lives were in the Titan. When word got out on Sunday that the submersible had lost contact, well the world rallied to locate the sub. I’m talking the U.S. Coast Guard deployed several forces, France sent a special nautical envoy, the British offered to help; King Charles III was insisting to be updated in a moment’s notice immediately. The unified commitment to locate the five passengers was unprecedentedthat is, if you’re not a billionaire or a millionaire.

OceanGate’s CEO, three businessmen and one of those men’s 19-year-old son, well, they had heaven and earth move in hopes of securing their safety because they’re wealthy; they’re in the 1%. They are people who have money who opted to test fate for fun. All the while impoverished refugees who are forced to flee from their homes and cross the high seas are testing government’s patience.

Last week, it seemed like all eyes were fixed on the saga of the lost Titan submersible, the five man submarine that was built by ocean gate and went to toward the Titanic at the bottom of the North Atlantic. Now although we ultimately did learn that the Titan did not vanish, but likely imploded a few hours after its launch, well, we definitely learned a hell of a lot about humanity or lack thereof, over the four days that the vessel commanded headlines. With all due respect to the five lives that were lost. The significant tragedy here is our varying valuation of human life. Five lives were in the title. When word got out on Sunday that the submersible had lost contact, while the world rally to locate the sub. I’m talking the US Coast Guard deployed several forces France sent a special nautical envoy the British offered to help King Charles the third was insisting to be updated in a moment’s notice immediately. The unified commitment to locate the five passengers was unprecedented. That is, if you’re not a billionaire or a millionaire, oshin Gates CEO, three businessmen and one of those men 19 year old son, well, they had Heaven and Earth move in hopes of securing their safety. Because they’re wealthy. They’re in the 1%. There are people who have money who opted to test fate for fun. All the while impoverished refugees who are forced to flee from their homes and cross the high seas are testing government’s patience it seems just earlier this month, a migrant boat carrying as many as 750 passengers capsized in the Mediterranean, no government rushed to their aid. Their desk did not dominate headlines for days. In fact, a Coast Guard ship escorted the fishing boat around the Mediterranean for hours watching as it sank. With hundreds of women and children in the hall. Their lives were deemed worthless when all they were trying to do was stay alive. Yet the five one percenters who spent $250,000 ahead to go Joy writing in a waterproof Ford Focus, so that they could tour the tragedy that is the SS Titanic are somehow worth an international interagency rescue mission. Make it make sense. We see this time and again, we’re those who hoard the resources and cause a lot of the problems are the ones that we deem most deserving of life and to be in the 1%. You don’t need Rockefeller cash No. According to Knight Frank’s 2023 Wealth Report, individuals with more than $5 million in wealth in the United States that at the top 1% bracket. Now while that seems pretty low, it would speak to how impoverished than 99% is, the wealth disparity grew significantly during the pandemic, as many of us know. And it happened to be one extreme poverty increase for the first time in 25 years. That’s for the World Bank. Now, extreme poverty is when you live on less than $2.15 a day 790 million people are forced to do that. And it’s not because they are less worthy of wealth or that they have some kind of personal failure. It’s because the wealthy have exploited resources, destabilize governments crippled economies, forced colonialism upon people. And the thing is, is they’re not done yet. The world’s richest 1% are responsible for more co2 emissions than the poorest 50% of the world’s population. According to the 2002 world inequality report from the world inequality lab, emissions from the richest 1% have grown three times faster than emissions from the poorest 50%. If they’re not going to weed them out, they’re going to pollute them out. People are hurting across the globe and the wealthy are only making it worse. Yet our society continues to uplift them and ignore their victims. Ocean gate is a perfect example of the brainwashed foolishness. That is capitalism. We can’t live like this. We must value each life. Use the resources that are available to mankind to make this world a better place for everyone. Not just the one percenters. If that’s not your takeaway from this tragedy with ocean gate, I don’t know really what to tell you. But I will say that at a minimum, the implosion of the Titan should at least be confirmation that well doesn’t equate to common sense. Yeah, because the Titan was jerry rigged and driven with an off brand PlayStation controller to pay hundreds of 1000s of dollars to take that unregulated and unsuitable capsule some 12,000 feet below sea level so that they could stare at wreckage that one could have easily seen by going to James Cameron’s IMDB page. It’s not the hallmark of genius. Our society clearly needs to stop assigning value on human life based on wealth.

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