Flixborough etc

The Flixborough disaster in 1974 was a chemical factory which blew up.  The Health & Safety Executive dates from the enquiry into this disaster.  It was obviously an accident waiting to happen. The problem is that the human race has a tendency to believe it – the notional it, a huge disaster, could never happen. We are constantly on the edge of disasters, teetering on the brink. Factories containing toxic material do sometimes go up in flames. Somehow we all survive it. We are constantly on the brink of disaster from nuclear weapons; somehow we have to learned to live with it. We have put it to back of our minds. Somehow we seem to forget that weapons are made to be used & often are. In fact it is almost miraculous that no nuclear weapons have been used in anger since 1945. Environmental disasters, so-called climate change disasters, are upon us. But somehow, much of the human race is in a state of denial about it.

In fact industrial disasters occur all the time all over the World. Climate change disasters occur all the time all over the World.

The explosion in the fertiliser factory in America seems a similar kind of accident. Considering the planet, the rate of disasters, it is no big deal. America being a nation which feels itself beleaguered seems to believe it is the result of terrorism. It is unlikely to be case. We love to read about conspiracy theories; they are like fiction. But more often accidents & disasters occur because of incompetence & bad luck.

In 2005, there was a massive fire at an oil refinery in Hemel Hempstead, it was the Buncefield oil refinery which caught fire & went up in flames. I lived in Kilburn at the time more than 20 miles away. The air was heavy with the smoke. I couldn’t help having feelings of an apocalyptic nature.  But after a few days the air was more or less back to normal. In the 80s, I used to do a great deal of cycling; in fact I was a dispatch rider at the time. During that time, I became aware that the air became noticeably worse. I remember, though I don’t remember which year in particular, that I was cycling home in the evening, one Summer, up Edgware Road towards Kilburn when I first noticed that there was a strange smell about the air. Since then, air quality is sometimes worse than at other times.

The only reason that we hear so much about the explosion in America is for that reason; because it took place in America. Fires & disasters like this happen all the time all over the World.

But somehow the planet has sort of recovered from this & other similar disasters.

Fracking is thought to be an extremely dangerous & risky operation. It is said, that, inter alia, it can cause earthquakes; earthquakes do seem to be on the increase.  But countries tend to do it anyway, in the hope that really, it isn’t as bad all that & anyway it is worth taking the risk because there is such a great need for the minerals being mined. Or at least I assume this is why they do it.

We, as a human race really don’t take as much care of our planet as we should. We seem to forget that after we personally are no more, after we have died, there will be others, homo sapiens & other species still on the planet.  We, the human race, are somehow like the Gadarene Swine. Somehow as apocalypse approaches, we, in fact seem to care less & less.

The point is that the human race tends to be in denial about disasters about to happen. Mostly we put them to the back of out our minds, whether they are environmental, man made or otherwise, to do with war, especially to do with nuclear weapons or economic even.  We learn to live with them. We carry on regardless of the consequences of our actions. The result of this is likely to be the demise of the human race & many others of the species with whom we share the planet.

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