Saturday, October 15, 2011

Black Snow, or Why Sometimes Regulations Are A Good Thing

Once upon a time, in a faraway place called Rumania, there was a town called Copsa Mica. Copsa Mica was a place with only two major industries that provided steady employment for its citizens. One made carbon black, for industrial uses (carbon black is useful in making tires), while the other was an industrial melting smelting operation.

It wasn't a very healthy place to live, mainly because of metal ash and soot. Sometimes, the snow that fell in the winter would be stained black by the stuff in the air. Back in the 80s and 90s, Copsa Mica earned the distinction of being the most polluted city in Europe.

Were there regulations by the government, to control the factories and safeguard the health of the citizens?


The government in power believed in industry, to help its economy and its exports. Regulations would simply get in the way. The government did provide health care - of the basic, proletarian Rumanian Communist sort - to the people under the effluent plume.

Let's go north and east a bit now, to a nice place called Siberia.

Up in Siberia there's oil - lots of oil. Companies are subsidized by the government to drill for oil, pump the oil out and ship it to refineries. If there are a few lakes of toxic crude mineral slime lying out from drill blowouts, pump failures and pipeline breaks, who cares? It's not like anyone who, you know, really matters lives out in the Wild East and drinks the water that this oil seeps into and contaminates.

Now, gentle reader, please bear these two tales in mind as you read or hear about A Certain Political Party that wants to do away with all regulations in the interest of business.

They don't care if your food isn't safe.

They don't care if your water isn't safe.

They don't care if your water bursts into flame when you open the taps.

They don't care if the air isn't fit to breathe.

Everything must be sacrificed on the Altar of Business.

Black snow for Christmas, anyone?


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