Wherever profits and self-interest are at stake, there are people willing to do whatever it take to pursue them, even if whatever it takes is evil. Take the businessmen who literally ground up the bones of dead soldiers to sell as fertilizer. Or the bureaucrats who screwed up the testing of a defective weapon, then downplayed its defects for years while the servicemen stuck using it paid with their lives. Following are thirty things about those and other evil things done by big corporations and bureaucracies.
30. Corporate Greed Caused One of Modern History’s Worst Industrial Accidents
December 2, 1984, began like most days at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. That night, however, the plant leaked about forty tons of a highly poisonous gas called methyl isocyanate (MIC), along with other toxic gasses. It was one of history’s worst industrial accidents. The plant was located in a densely-populated area, surrounded by shanty towns. Over 600,000 people suffered from exposure to the lethal cloud. Thousands perished, and thousands more suffered permanent disabilities or were otherwise seriously injured.
It came to be known as the Bhopal Disaster. What took the catastrophe from the realm of industrial accident to one of sheer corporate evil was the callousness exhibited by Union Carbide before, during, and after the event. As seen below, the plant had a history of poor safety practices and near misses. The alarm was raised for years, but was ignored. Union Carbide had even turned down a request from local management for protective measure that would have averted the leak, because it deemed them too expensive.