Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Notices

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Unread 08-21-2019, 01:37 PM
Rick Mullin's Avatar
Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 7,867
Default 35 years after Bhopal

A day job article (...long) on the chemical industry's community outreach after Bhopal~the world's worst industrial accident took place 35 years ago. The part about the ethylene cracker in Pittsburgh is starting to get some coverage elsewhere. The New York Times had a front page story on it (...short) the day my story came out. The day after, Trump visited. You no doubt say him speak with all the Shell Chemical hard hats behind him last week.

Half my story is about an unnecessary and huge plastics factory (ethylene cracker) being built in order to make fracking more profitable--in a state that is already wall-to-wall fracked. There is money to be made from the Marcellus Shale reserve. But the market for plastics is heavily into overcapacity. As for Trump's visit, the optics were hugely skewed. Right now, there are nearly 6,000 people employed building the plant through next year. In 2021, there will be only 600 new jobs. The plant was approved during the Obama administration.

The story also covers the Kanawha Valley in West Virginia, where the chemical industry got started and where there was a sister plant to the Bhopal plant making methyl isocyanate, which killed over 2,000 (probably way over) and injured hundreds of thousands in 1984.

Note--the online headline was adjusted for "search engine optimization" and makes absolutely no sense. The print headline was "Community outreach 35 years after Bhopal".

This story is why I haven't been around much lately.

Last edited by Rick Mullin; 08-21-2019 at 03:04 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Unread 08-24-2019, 12:34 AM
Julie Steiner's Avatar
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 6,003
Default

Dang, that's a lot of legwork, Rick. Were you able to resist the temptation to paint the 89-year-old with the walking stick?

Interesting and well-written.

Having people ask questions at individual tables, so that the institution gives the appearance of hearing the public's concerns, but without the whole room being able to hear unflattering questions raised and addressed, and so no real discussion or challenges to the official answer can take place, was a tactic also employed at the clergy sex abuse "listening sessions" that my local Catholic bishop held last October. Now I know where he got it from.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 08-24-2019 at 12:36 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Unread 08-24-2019, 11:10 AM
Rick Mullin's Avatar
Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 7,867
Default

Thanks for reading this epic longread, Julie.

I didn't paint any people, but I did paint the cracker and Blaine Island. Both from pencil sketches done on site.

You notice that three people in the article objected to the "question tables"--the most transparently ham-handed technique of keeping low information folk from coming down with any information from higher-information folk. If all I accomplish as a journalist is to allow people to mock this PR strategy in print and online, I can retire in relative peace. Really stunning to hear that the Catholic church is employing it thus. Not surprised. It’s a pervasive shuck.

RM

Last edited by Rick Mullin; 08-29-2019 at 05:57 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Unread 08-24-2019, 10:43 PM
Allen Tice's Avatar
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Posts: 4,450
Default

The world needs more posts like this. Many more posts. Good job.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Unread 08-29-2019, 05:54 PM
Rick Mullin's Avatar
Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 7,867
Default

Thanks Allen!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 7,999
Total Threads: 19,792
Total Posts: 253,167
There are 211 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online