A lot of information has been released about how much was known about the dangers aboard the BP oil rig which exploded in the Gulf resulting in the massive oil leak. An engineer from that rig has stated that he warned the company of the impending dangers to no avail. Other whistleblowers have pointed to deficiencies in BP’s testing and paperwork and how it weighed safety against earnings in deciding not to stop the drilling. Here is the question; if the whistleblowers had come forward sooner and gone public, reporting their information to government agencies and the public in order to effectuate the right decision, could the explosion have been prevented? We know that the regulatory agency overseeing oil drilling has not been very strict with the oil companies and it seems likely that whatever the whistleblowers said would have resulted in a lethargic and long term response. It also seems unlikely that such public statements would have resulted in closure of the well by BP. However, it would have been worth the try. Indeed the whistleblowers who have come forward to report what they know may well prevent a similar explosion on another well in the Gulf. In addition, there are ancillary social benefits in the development of a fearless citizenry who are not willing to wait around until the right thing is done. Our country is still reeling from the mortgage scandal fostered by the banks and mortgage brokers who should have been turned in by those in the know. The financial scandal could have been prevented if more individuals with knowledge had spoken out. Companies in a free market economy will do what they can to earn the highest amount of money as long as they think they can get away with it. This is the culture we have fostered but it doesn’t have to be that way. Whistleblowers won’t solve everything but they can do a hell of a lot to curb the naked greed and rampant fraud being perpetrated on our nation’s people.