What to believe? What to do?

On December 3rd, 1884, more than 27 tons of toxic gases leaked from a pesticide manufacturing facility in the Indian city of Bhopal. The gas spread to bordering communities, killing thousands and leaving 500,000 exposed. The Union Carbide Corporation based in New York never protected the people of Bhopal by knowingly sending untested hazardous technology there and not implementing an emergency plan for a potential gas leak. The company also withheld critical information for medical treatment. Today, the area still has no been decontaminated and still pollutes the drinking water. Very little compensation has been rewarded.

Sound pretty similar? The disaster in White Noise is almost identical to the one in Bhopal, India. The people had no clue of such toxic materials in the area, there was no evacuation plan (SIMUVAC), and the government didn’t have any treatment for such exposure. Not warning any nearby towns is the number one danger because people won’t be ready for such a disaster. But, possibly not granting the public this information was for the best. Certainly I’m not advocating people should die unnecessary deaths, but carrying on with life is much better than worrying everyday.

It’s frightening how much we trust the government with our health and safety. They can tell us whatever they like and because we don’t know any better, we take their word to be true. In White Noise, Jack ponders to himself, “In a crisis the true facts are whatever other people say they are.” If we don’t have any previous knowledge, we accept others facts to be reliable.

It’s frightening the world we inhabit today. We get the impression that we are protected because “The greater the scientific advance, the more primitive the fear,” when really it should raise the fear since technology is usually the cause of these disasters, especially when people handling these have little regard for the safety of the people around. I guess we’re in the hands of others.

So who or what can we trust?

Exxon has failed to clean up much of the oil. It still pollutes the beaches endangers wildlife


One Response to “What to believe? What to do?”

  1. Not to be a stickler, but the date is 1984 not 1884. Otherwise it is eery and not surprising anymore.

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