Today is the 25th anniversary of the Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) leak at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. The number of people affected, injured, and killed has been the subject of debate. But it seems clear that a half a million were exposed to some degree to MIC and other chemicals released and approximately 40,000 people died either immediately or from injuries directly related to the accident. MIC was a key ingredient in India’s petrochemical Green Revolution — an intermediate chemical in the production of a number of insecticides, some still in use today.
On site of the former Dow Chemical’s plant in Bhopal in 2002.Photo and caption courtesy Ascanio via Flickr Union Carbide still claims the MIC release was an act of deliberate sabotage and that “it” was the victim at Bhopal. This giant-chemical-corporation-as-victim delusion is symptomatic of our time; the end-of-free-market capitalism in which corporations have become too big to fail, too powerful to be held accountable.
So why remember the Bhopal tragedy on this 25th anniversary, aside from respect for all its victims?
I believe the Bhopal tragedy offers us some insi... Read more