Imagine waking up one morning after going to bed as healthy as horse, with no eye sight accompanied by a burning sensation, excruciating pain in your lungs that makes it difficult for you to breathe and with no idea what has caused this effect. This was the feeling experienced by over 200, 000 people in Bhopal, India on Dec 3rd, 1984. A pesticide plant run by Union Carbide Corporation, an American company, experienced a gas leak from tanks containing Methyl Isocyanate (MIC). Methyl Isocyanate reacted with water producing toxic gases that spread out towards human settlements causing devastating effects. This is merely one among many other disasters caused by industries. The causes of these disasters and the accountability for the disasters are the main focus of this paper. Air pollution directly affects the health of humans as evidenced by the Bhopal disaster hence it is important to understand the relationship. Even though industries are not the only causes of air pollution, pollution due to industries should be controlled by taking all the safety measures necessary as well as accounting for unintended consequences that may be caused by an error in the equipment.
Lee Davis is a well-known environmentalist who has written a series of books that focus on the environment and how it is changing. In his book, Environmental disasters, he focuses on twentieth century disasters that are man-made. He demonstrates how the individual, industries and government are all contributors to air, water and land pollution that have caused a series of catastrophes over the years. More emphasis is directed to the industrial contribution because Industries have to a higher degree caused most of the human-made disasters. Industrial effects are often tied to government contribution because they are in charge or the industries that cause these disasters.
After the industrial revolution, countries competed to become more developed by building more industries. During this time period, the people demanded more good and services to better their living conditions. This increase in demand increased the desire for industries to produce more and it is this desire that resulted in carelessness. Waste disposal by industries is no longer taken seriously. Davis points out how gases are released into the atmosphere, liquid waste into the waterways and solid waste are either dumped into water ways as well or buried underground. The trending claim from most industries is that the waste released is not toxic or that the amounts releases are not toxic. This ignorance is what has led to an increase in the disasters caused by industries.
Among the disasters caused by gas leaks include the Brazil Cubatao explosion, Canada Mississauga gas leak and the Bhopal disaster. I am particularly interested in the Bhopal disaster which Davis addresses in his book because is reflects underestimated complexities, contribution of the government and failure to fulfill ethical responsibility. As...