tisk, tisk

Sometimes I wonder if we realize the effects our country has on poorer nations.

 Case in point: due to decisions made in this country and in Europe, the Ivory Coast has been deluged with 250 tons of toxic sludge. Essentially, our country’s decisions (largely economically-driven) have dumped pounds upon pounds of lethal chemical waste on one of the poorest nations in the world. It would have cost a mere $300,000 to properly dispose of the waste, but a “cheaper” (although I would vehemently argue the use of this word here) decision was made to dump it in the ocean.

Ivory Coast residents who came into contact with the sludge began noticing the detestable smell which was soon followed by sores, blisters, headaches, nosebleeds and stomach pains. Eight people have died and 85,000 have sought medical help due to the toxic waste. On top of that, the sludge is surely damaging the planet that we all live in. 

 This is something we all need to be aware of. It is almost sickening to hear that our waste is ending up on poorer nations’ doorsteps. It seems so archaic.

 What would America have done if the reverse had happened? If thousands of our citizens had been sickened by waste from another country? We would rage a war.  We would be up in arms for decades.

How could we improve? Our children are taught: “Treat your neighbor as yourself.” Maybe we should listen to our own advice.

 I commend all lawyers that devote energy and time to fighting these kind of tragedies (for monetary rewards or not). I hope a few good lawyers will enlist themselves in fighting back against these specific toxic polluters. We’ll see how the story unfolds.

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