Europe against GMO crops! Please, sign the Avaaz petition!
I already did. It's us who decide, not Monsanto!!!

Hungary - the face of ecological irresponsibility

As much as I have good feeling towards Hungarians, I can't hold my indignation of the happening in Hungary right now. I'm sure you all have heard about the toxic spill. The videos from Hungary show such sinister red color, it's hard for the media to avoid them. In short:
"At least seven people are known to have died as a result of Monday’s spill. It happened when the reservoir wall collapsed, sending hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of red toxic waste gushing from the alumina plant in Ajka. The waste flooded three neighbouring villages, of which Kolontar was the worst hit.
The wall has continued to deteriorate and Hungary’s prime minister says it is “likely” it will collapse again.
The caustic sludge seeped into local rivers, wiping out fluvial plantlife and fish. But fears it may have serious consequences in the Danube have eased."
 and also "One of the animal rescue volunteers explains the problems the animals face: “The mud has a high alkaline content with a pH level of 13.7. This means the sludge soaks into their skin and the skin then splits next to the burnt areas.”" source
So we're talking about huge environmental catastrophe that already killed people and destroyed their property and probably life. That's clear and everybody is very worried and they/we all offer support to Hungary and so on and so on.
Why I decided to blog about it? Well it's very simple. Because it amazes me, how irresponsible humans can be. So, you have a company working with toxic substances, you have a storage. You invest some money in safety, but of course, you prefer to make economies, especially in times of crisis. So you polish everything, put your best smile on, pay some money to the right people and enjoy your savings. And hope for the best. However, when the best doesn't happen, you say it's not your fault. Quite on the contrary, it is precisely your fault. The one who pays, the ones who take the money and everyone else who is involved in the process or knows about it or simply doesn't care, because the requirements are so impossibly high. Yes, but they are not. And such cases prove it.
I can understand ignorance to safety requirements on personal level. When you risk only your life, it is your choice. But when we speak about "hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of red toxic waste", it's different. It's no longer one or two lives we're talking about. It's about the lives of whole villages of people, about their lands, their houses. And now, it's all ruined. It's all red. But not good, happy or healthy red - no, this time, it's toxic red. And while blood can be washed from the ground or it can feed the soil and bring new life, toxic waste cannot do that. All it can do is to kill. To burn and to melt. And that's what you get, when you think you're smarter than physics (or chemistry). That's what you get, when you say "the business is already on their knees, we shouldn't impose additional burden in the form of new safety requirements and we have to close our eyes for the current ones".
I'm very mad, because when I post on the EU, I keep on reading such statements from people who really believe that the business is more important than human life. Because such accidents are rare. Well, they may be rare, but that won't make the people who died because of it feel better or less dead. And anyway, what does it matter that the incidents are rare if we're talking about such a big spill, the consequences of which will stay for years or decades or who knows.
We had two major environmental disasters this year. And my guess is that these are only warnings. Because the bigger the scale of human endeavors, the bigger the possible danger for everyone, if something goes wrong. And the worst is that every time such accident happens, it is not certain company or government that are blamed, not on the long term. It is science and technology. And why? Because it's easier. Because it's much much easier to blame human progress, than to admit that it is humans themselves who are the problem. That science cannot do harm, it's humans who do it. And we are all humans and we all participate in that process one way or another. It is us who have to take the responsibility for better and safer life. It is us who have to say - life is more important than money.
Instead, people massively seek some form of escape, they prefer to denounce progress, than to take responsibility for that progress. And in the end, we all suffer. Because only trough awareness you can modify reality according to your will. When you're not aware, not interested or not willing, you are used to modify reality according to someone else's will. And I personally don't want that.
So the short and simple moral is - some slogans sound good, but that's all they do. Business should exist adapt according to the requirements we impose on it. It is not an entity on itself, it is nothing but a tool. A tool for our survival and fulfillment. So if or when we see a danger or a new important quality it should have, the business ought to adapt. And if one company cannot do it, another will do it. And the best will survive.
Please, stop telling us how it is impossible to have clean, healthy and safe business in every field. That's simply not true. The purpose of progress is to adapt to the new needs of humans. If a new need arise, it will find a way. We only have to will it and it will happen.
And this already has happened in so many fields. Only the so called energy-intensive or dirty industries have the privilege to be almost always exempt from environmental regulation. And it takes years to impose new regulations and to induce some positive change. It is not because it is impossible, it's because they say it is too expensive. However, expensive for one industry means creating new jobs and profit for another industry. I don't see why the one is more important than the other. As long as the new regulations are transparent and useful, it's not for the government to decide who will make money and who wont. (Btw, read here for the corporations and their investments)
Again, don't forget that there's no such thing like collective responsibility, we all should care, we all should be interested and we all should get involved. We have to create the life we want.
P.S. For a dessert, you can enjoy two articles about more irresponsibility towards environment that I read recently.

Battle over climate science spreads to US schoolrooms

SCHOOLS in three US states - Louisiana, Texas and South Dakota - have been told to teach alternatives to the scientific consensus on global warming. The moves appear to be allied to efforts to teach creationism in public schools. Such efforts have in the past been thwarted when courts ruled them unconstitutional, but those advocating the teaching of sound science may find it harder to fight misrepresentations concerning climate change.
Last week, South Dakota's state legislature adopted a bill which "urges" schools to take a "balanced approach" to teaching about climate change, because the science is "unresolved" and has been "complicated and prejudiced" by "political and philosophical viewpoints".
When New Scientist asked what these were, the bill's sponsor, Don Kopp, mentioned claims commonly cited in opposition to the idea of human-induced global warming: for example, that any global warming is due to changes in solar activity. "I am against bankrupting the country to fight warming," he said, "without being sure it's true."
Bundling warming with evolution in calls for "academic freedom" may make it harder to challenge these laws.
Moves against climate science and in favour of creationism are linked in other ways too: some see warming, like evolution, as the product of a hostile scientific establishment.  source

Study: Climate Hacking Scheme Could Load the Ocean With Neurotoxins

Of all the planet hacking possibilities floated as last-minute ways to stave off a climate catastrophe (building a solar shade for the Earth, injecting the atmosphere with sunlight-reflecting aerosols, etc.), iron seeding seems one of the more practical and feasible ideas. The scheme calls for the fertilization of patches of ocean with iron to spur blooms of plankton, which eventually die, sink, and sequester carbon at the seafloor.
However, worries over the consequences of tinkering with the ocean ecosystem have held up plans to attempt this. And now, in a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers claim that such a plan could risk putting a neurotoxin into the food chain.
Iron seeders have targeted the large swaths of ocean surface with high levels of nitrate and low chlorophyll, where an injection of iron could potentially turn a dearth of plankton into a bloom. But too many phytoplankton can be a bad thing, especially when it comes to members of the genus Pseudonitzschia. This alga produces domoic acid, which it spews into the surrounding seawater to help it ingest iron [ScienceNOW]. Sea lions off California have gotten sick from the toxin. In Canada, three people died in the 1980s from eating shellfish that themselves had eaten Pseudonitzschia.

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