Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hungary? No, I Lost My Appetite…

Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
- Ambrose Pierce

When a dam burst on October 4th near the Hungarian village of Kolontar, the residents heard a surging noise. With only 2 kilometers (just over a mile) of flat farmland between the reservoir and the town, it wasn’t long before the wave up to 9 meters (just under 30 feet) washed through the town, uprooting trees, destroying homes, and washing away cars.

Four died, three are missing, and 150 were injured. About 7000 people’s homes have been destroyed or damaged.

What’s more, this was no ordinary water: it was industrial runoff from a factory that manufactures alumina (that’s aluminum in America, aluminium in other parts of Europe). An estimated 1 million cubic meters (over 260 million gallons) of bright red toxic sludge flowed from the reservoir and has made it’s way to the Danube, one of Europe’s largest waterways.

Who will pay for it? If the past is any indication, local residents shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for the private company that is actually responsible for the disaster to step up and assume accountability.


  1. Well I think they should be seized and shut down like BP should be and their worth used to clean that up. However that just isn't going to happen.

  2. Eh, I'm not that big into punitive measures. I think a company is worth more alive than dead. It should just work out a long-term payoff. Liquidating a company and causing people who had nothing to do with the ultimate decisions being made to lose their jobs does not seem very fair.

    It would be fun to see the CEOs of these companies have to fight lions in an amphitheatre, though.

  3. I just got back from there a few weeks ago, damn shame, I have a job in Texas soon so I will get the BP experience in the gulf...

    I still say "carbon footprint" is BS, at least until we can stop and clean up crap like this and the problems from big corporate farm Agriculture.


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