Friday, March 18, 2011

Emergency responses

The official response to the nuclear emergency at Fukushima is reminiscent of the official response to the Gulf oil spill.
What are the similarities?
  1. The emergency is handled from the outset by the private corporation that ran the operation before the emergency.
  2. The company minimizes the damage, using government officials as a chorus to prove them correct.
  3. As the situation worsens, the government steadfastly refused to participate.
  4. As the situation worsens, the government steadfastly minimizes the risks.
  5. Ridiculous solutions, the cap on the well, dropping water from helicopters on the holding tanks are offered as the situation worsens. Minimizing continues to farcical levels, while evidence is hidden/blacked out.
  6. Finally, after much time is lost, real solutions are explored, the relief well in one case, and encasing the plant in sand and concrete in the other. 
So we can conclude, as opposed to those that contend that this is a Japanese style response to an emergency, that this is a neo-liberal style response to an emergency. The government is used as a tool by a corporation to avoid liability and cost.

And since now neo-liberalism rules from the US, to Japan to Europe, we can expect new crises to be handled in the same blundering fashion, featuring obfuscation, shirking of governmental responsibilities, with the burdens placed on the public coffers and health.


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