Wednesday, October 6, 2010

red muck mess

I was watching the news at dinner last night, and I caught something about a red muck disaster. I was at a bar, and I only caught it from one of the far TV screens (on mute). It also intrigued some other folks at the bar.

I looked it up online, and there was hardly any mention of it. Hello?! A photogenic (look at all that bright red muck destroying those towns!) catastrophe involving a caustic material that caused massive environmental damage. Burns on contact! Wiped out four villages! Killed small children!

The NY Times does have something a little more in-depth now, two days later. In a quest for more info, I tried googling "red sludge Hungary" and got almost nothing.

A few commentators have drawn parallels between this and problems we have in the US, such as mine tailings. What do you do with vast quantities of nasty stuff, some of which accumulated over decades? Hide it behind berms and hope for the best? Spend $$$$$ to stabilize it? Whose pockets will that come out of?

We used to have the Superfund tax on the most heavily polluting industries to take care of the really messy orphaned sites. Too bad the funding for it hasn't been authorized in 15 years and the program's out of money. So instead of having the worst-polluting industries pay, now all the taxpayers do. If the cleanups are done all, that is.

1 comment:

Chuck said...

MY best guess: