Letter To The Editor: Reader Thinks Rosenzweig Whitewashed Bhopal

Hello Mark,

I read your whitewash editorial [Grasp All The Lessons Of Bhopal].  Shame on you for that!  Tell the truth, instead of misdirection of cause-and-effect.

Bhopal was a terrorist act by a disgruntled employee who hooked up a water-hose to the tank.  There was never any direct, engineered path for water to get into a MIC tank, and it is inconceivable that in a U.S.-engineered plant there ever would be.

As for the factor of a large number of people living in a shanty-town nearby, that's the natural result of the U. S. exporting its manufacturing to third-world countries with cheap regulatory environments and cheap labor. It's nothing personal; it's just Business.

Our domestic industry needed to learn how to protect itself against terrorist acts, but in spite of Postal employees occasionally going Postal, and various home-grown nutcases and even the abortive earlier attack with a car-bomb in the basement of the World Trade center, this country and its various industries NEVER DID LEARN the LESSON of protection against terrorists until 9/11.

Now, the country is hardened moderately, but there are still a lot of opportunities...the price of an open society under our Constitution.

The confront of evil is a very difficult thing, and virtually everyone falls far short on that score, and that's why we let one nut-case after another bomb FBI buildings and so-forth, and we continue to leave ourselves open.

The lesson Industry has learned only in a few areas such as nuclear power plants is HIGH SECURITY such that even one employee can not act alone to cause a disaster.

Making every chemical plant a Very Hard Target such that even no single employee, much less an outsider, can do harm, is the REAL lesson the industry needs to learn.

Steve Smith

Show Comments
Hide Comments

Join the discussion

We welcome your thoughtful comments.
All comments will display your user name.

Want to participate in the discussion?

Register for free

Log in for complete access.


  • <p> In response to the Letter To The Editor above, Trevor A. Kletz (author of the December 2009 cover story <a href="http://www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2009/238.html" title="http://www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2009/238.html">Bhopal Leaves a Lasting Legacy</a>) offered this response: </p> <p> Your editorial, and perhaps also my article, have certainly produced a response but it is better to be criticized than ignored.  There is a widespread belief that accidents are due to the wickedness of somebody and that the job of an investigation is to find out whom.  Some are, of course, but only a small proportion. The primary job of the safety adviser is not to prevent bad people from hurting others but to prevent good people from hurting others as a result of ignorance, poor systems, and slips and lapses of intention (inevitable from time to time).<br />  <br /> Regards - Trevor </p>


RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments