Jul 8, 2010 - Issue 383
Double Standard: BP and Bhopal
President Barak Obama went after BP and demanded a $20 billion dollar
fund be set up for victims of the Gulf oil spill, the people of
BP should pay
$20 billion in compensation, probably even more. The people of
But people are angry because the US is treating the oil spill, called the worst environmental disaster in US history, in a radically different way than the US treated the explosion of a US-owned pesticide plant in Bhopal India, which some call the worst industrial disaster in history.
The plant that
exploded was operated by Union Carbide India Limited, a corporation owned
by Union Carbide of the
The disaster occurred
in a thickly populated area close to the central railway station in
Thousands of dead
humans and animals filled the streets of
The soil and water
Obama displayed outrage at BP officials over the 11 deaths from the
Recall too that
Obama advisor Larry Summers, then chief economist at the World Bank, stated
in an infamous 1971 memo. “Just between you and me, shouldn’t the world
Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the Less
Developed Countries?... I’ve always thought that
under-populated countries in
Obsolete and hazardous industries have been systematically transferred to the third world countries to not only exploit the cheap labor but also to avoid disastrous impact of these industries on the advanced countries.
Union Carbide put profit for the corporation above the lives and health of millions of people. Dow Chemical, which took over Union Carbide, is attempting to distance itself from all responsibility.
We call on the people of the US and the people of India to join together to demand our governments respect the human rights of all people, no matter where they live.
Together, we must bring about change in corporate development. We have to emphasize social production for the needs of people and improved social relations.
If we continue to value some lives more than others, and to allow corporations to spoil some areas with impunity, our world will not last.
Unless we respect the human rights of all people and demand corporations do that as well, we will be damned to live out the Cree Indian prophecy “Only when the last tree from this earth has been cut down, only when the last river has been poisoned, only when the last fish has been caught, only then will humankind learn that money cannot be eaten.”
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, Bill
Quigley, is the Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional
Rights and a law professor at