Thursday, December 03, 2009

Bhopal Anniversary

There are some things which stick in your memory, tragedies which one heard about during childhood which haunt one into adulthood.

It has been twenty-five years since the Bhopal disaster. The Boston Globe has a great collection of photos from Bhopal. Worldview focused on the anniversary yesterday. If you don't know what I am talking about, you owe it to yourself to learn about it. That you might not know what I am talking about is astounding to me.

Just thinking about it makes me sad and angry. Chemicals from the accident are still leaking into the ground, poisoning the water and we have allowed Dow Chemical to avoid cleaning up the site. The coverage of the anniversary has been scant and hasn't had a negative effect on the company's stock price, but a 2004 hoax in which one of the Yes Men pretended to be a Dow executive who claimed responsibility for cleaning up the site did result in a drop. I think this shows our collective lack of regard for people in other countries, especially people in the third world. The developed world's attitude seems to be that getting our stuff cheap and making a profit is more important than human lives.

Amnesty International's website asks us to write to India's Prime Minister and Dow Chemical. It will take you less than a quarter of an hour to do what you can to end this human rights travesty which has been going on for a quarter of a century.

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