Monday, February 25, 2008

Neoliberalism and Never-Ending Disasters

Never-ending man-made disasters
in the midst of never-ending
Money-Commodities-More Money circuit

The gas leak was the result of deliberate inaction (of a profit-seeking institution)
. . . it was not natural disaster.

On May 28, 2006, at about 10:00 p.m. hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) leaked from a gas exploration rig in Sidoarjo, operated by PT Lapindo Brantas. The gas leak sprayed 10 meters high from cracks in the ground. The gas was followed by hot mud spewing as far as the residence area nearby.

The cause of the gas leak
The crack in the gas well was not caused by the May 27 earthquake. The statement was one of the results of East Java Police investigation (expert witnesses from the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency). (Source ANTV, June 8, 2006)
The leak was a result of deliberate inaction of PT Lapindo Brantas. This was the greatest disaster in East Java this year. (quote from East Java Walhi’s executive director, Ridho Saiful Ashadi, published on Surabaya Pagi, June 7, 2006).
The gas leak was caused by a technical error while drilling the well. The drill was stalled when mechanics tried to pull it off. The gas couldn’t flow through the supposed fire pit channel, instead it flowed up through the swamp (Syahdun, a mechanic of PT. Tiga Musim Jaya Mas, the drilling contractor, quoted as saying by Kompas, June 8, 2006).
The leak was not a natural disaster but rather because of a bad luck factor. Allegedly, when the well was drilled, the hole had not yet covered by concrete. (Dr. Adi Susilo, Head of Geoscience Lab, Universitas Brawijaya Malang, on Kompas, June 8, 2006

Environmental Recklessness Blamed for Jakarta Floods
JAKARTA, Indonesia, February 12, 2007 (ENS) - About 60 percent of the Indonesian capital Jakarta is flooded following days of torrential rains, which caused several rivers to overflow. Authorities say 50 people have died and 512,170 have been made homeless in the worst floods to hit Jakarta and surrounding areas in five years. Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar said the main reason for the flooding of Jakarta was the elimination of water catchment areas following the construction of large numbers of buildings. "There are too many malls in the capital city," the minister said of the shopping centers that have sprung up across Jakarta. There are too many malls in the capital city," the minister said of the shopping centers that have sprung up across Jakarta. The minister told the Antara news agency that many developers have not paid enough attention to the ecological impact of their projects and have contructed buildings "recklessly" in water catchment areas.
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