In a good piece, George Monbiot highlights the scandal of the amount of hazardous waste dumped off the coasts of poor/corrupt countries:
“It was revolting, monstrous, inhumane â€“ and scarcely different from what happens in Africa almost every day. The oil trading company Trafigura has just agreed to pay compensation to 31,000 people in Ivory Coast, after the Guardian and the BBC’s Newsnight obtained emails sent by its traders. They reveal that Trafigura knew that the oil slops it sent there in 2006 were contaminated with toxic waste. But the Ivorian contractor it employed to pump out the hold of its tanker dumped them around inhabited areas in the capital city and the countryside.”
He also shows that the typical response to this, which is to call for more regulation, more money for regulators and more laws, is pointless:
“The law couldn’t be clearer: the Basel convention, supported by European directives, forbids European Union or OECD nations from dumping hazardous wastes in poorer countries. But without enforcement, the law is useless.”
His views chime with mine. What we need to do is to enforce the laws we have, and if the expensively-assembled regulators are not doing that, they shouldn’t be given more money and powers. They should be sacked.
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Filed in: Environmentalism