Boycott Dow until they do right by Bhopal

by Tom Begnal on the dailykos blog

Some stories are hard to believe simply because they carry truths that stagger the senses.

Here’s one that can be summed up in a single sentence: After a factory causes the death of thousands of people, the corporate owner shuts it down and moves out leaving behind a toxic wasteland that continues to kill people 26 years later.

Can’t happen? Well it did; and the death and suffering continue today.

If you think the story can’t get worse; think again. The factory site was never adequately cleaned up, so it has remained a toxic wasteland for 26 years.

Since 1984, activists have tried to get Union Carbide and Dow Chemical to do right by Bhopal. No one but Dow thinks $550 is fair compensation. And no one thinks it’s right to leave behind a chemical cesspool that kills people every year.

So I have a suggestion. Since moral arguments don’t penetrate the walls of Dow’s corporate headquarters, let’s stop preaching morality and start talking dollars and cents, a subject they fully understand and dearly love.

This is what we tell them: We won’t buy Dow products until the company does right by Bhopal. Perhaps, if we all pull together, we can create a small but noticeable downtick in Dow’s sales and profits. And, maybe, just maybe, it will be enough of a tick to cause Dow to grow a conscience.

In the end, both Bhopal and Dow will be the better for it.

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We believe Dow must finally accept responsibility for Bhopal. Until then, The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two award-winning clinics in the city. Both offer free, first-class care to victims of the gas disaster or the ongoing water contamination. The survivors have nowhere else left to turn – please help if you can.