Today: a major anniversary in the history of technology

25th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor

There are numerous outstanding moments in the history of applied technology. Fulton's steam boat and the Wright Brothers' first flight. The first phone call, the first phonograph (pre-digital). Photography and understanding photosynthesis. Man on the moon, the first trsansistor, the first antibiotic. Email and wireless Internet. Chernobyl and Times Beach, Missouri. Today's anniversary is more like those last two.

THIS IS THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BHOPAL MASSACRE. Unintentional as Bhopal was, the deaths of so many was directly due to human action, and arrogance. But as is often the case in pollution for profit, it is far easier to take short-cuts and then pay AFTER something goes wrong. Bhopal's an instructive case history of man inventing new technology without carefully considering what it can do, what could go wrong. This sort of disaster has relevance for every major undertaking of technology from geo-engineering to oil transport to nuclear plant maintenance to mineral extraction to waste disposal. [poll id="200"]

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