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.