2001: A Space Odyssey, blood money, Chernobyl, corporate douchebaggery, Danube River, Deepwater Horizon, environmental crisis, Europe, Hungary, industrial accidents, MAL Hungarian Aluminium Production and Trade Company, NASCAR pit crews, toxic sludge
A red, seething mass of toxic sludge from an aluminium leak in Hungary has now reached the storied River Danube, Europe’s second longest river. The pH level of the Danube, which flows through 10 European countries, is 9.8 in the affected areas when it should fall within a range of 7-8.
This will undoubtedly prove catastrophic to the environment, perhaps harkening back to a former European disaster–Chernobyl. The economic impact will be onerous, as will the cost in lives and human suffering.
Four people have been killed so far by the rambling death blob, and hundreds more forced from their homes. The topsoil in the affected area has become so saturated with toxic chemicals that it will likely have to be replaced. This will come at great cost.
MAL Hungarian Aluminium Production and Trade Company, the outfit responsible for the leak, is doing its level best to make BP’s response to the Deepwater Horizon spill look like a NASCAR pit crew by comparison. They’ve offered $150,000 to help pay for the damages, and are calling it good.
Leaders of potentially affected countries are looking for a silver lining in this disaster. They are said to be holding out hope that this environmental crisis will distract from the growing unrest over recent austerity programs, or that perhaps the swarming red mass will devour some of the protesters.