Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hungary: The Louisiana of Europe

Imagine living in a village in Hungary, sitting in the town pub eating some hearty goulash, and drinking some fine draft ale after a hard day's work in the mines, when a river of toxic sludge suddenly floods your town and burns you alive before dumping into the Danube River and spreading across Europe.

Sound like a nightmare? Well, it is and it isn't:
KOLONTAR, Hungary — The wall of a reservoir filled with caustic red sludge will inevitably collapse and unleash a new deluge of red sludge that could flow about a half-mile (1 kilometer) to the north, a Hungarian official said Sunday.
On Monday, the sludge flooded three villages in less than an hour, burning people and animals. At least seven people were killed and at least 120 were injured. Several of those who were hospitalized were in serious condition. Around 184 million gallons (700,000 cubic meters) of the caustic red sludge was released.
The red sludge devastated creeks and rivers near the spill site and entered the Danube River on Thursday, moving downstream toward Croatia, Serbia and Romania. But the volume of water in the Danube appeared to be blunting the sludge's immediate impact.
(courtesy HuffPo)

Not only has it already happened, but it will happen again when the crack in the North Wall eventually collapses.


Well, what do you expect would happen when the government allows a 24-acre reservoir of toxic sludge to be created and maintained by a corporation who doesn't give two shits about anything other than selfish greed?

This is what I would expect:

(courtesy Reuters)

Oh, but don't worry about the long-lasting effects of this toxic spill on the life inside and around Europe's second-longest river--a river so beautiful they compose waltzes in its honor--because the offending aluminum company has been dumping other chemicals into the river that will supposedly reduce the effect of the toxic sludge they put in it.

Great. More chemicals.

And by the way, let's just ignore the fact that the local groundwater will be fucked for eternity and everyone who lives nearby will never be able to sell their houses and may start growing superfluous eyeballs.

This sounds so much like the BP oil spill, but maybe even worse. When will people in charge realize they cannot trust corporations to be responsible? When our rivers and oceans are boiling, poisonous stews that eat through everything except specially-crafted mega yachts?

Jobs created to clean-up toxic disasters are not the kind of jobs we need in this world, especially considering the cost of cancer treatments for all the workers will far exceed whatever meager wages they earned cleaning up an irreparable mess that should never have happened in the first place.

Just look at that stinking, steaming, caustic tidal wave at the starting gate...

Anyway, the clock is ticking on this beast, so keep your ears pricked and re-think that summer cruise on the Danube.


1 comment:

Goodtime Charlie said...


The President of the offending aluminum company has been arrested and faces ten years in prison for criminal negligence. All assets of the company have been frozen and the state is now running it.

Damn Hungarians know how these things should be done. Meanwhile, Tony Hayward sips champagne on a yacht somewhere, complaining to his servants about unfair vilification.