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Union Carbide vs Bhopal

Updated on May 15, 2011

Union Carbide smokescreens: money or morals?


The Bhopal incident of 1984 involving a chemical fog, which smothered the cities occupants, is one of the greatest examples of greed getting in the way of human decency and morals. Union Carbide, the company who owned and maintained the facility in Bhopal spent countless hours and not to mention millions of dollars trying to clear their name of this gross neglect and ultimately wash their hands of the problem.


Reasons behind why the so-called unproven technology was even present in Bhopal in the first place starts and finishes with profits.  Unfortunately even back in 1984, corporate greed, a term that is all too common now was rife within the high-ranking officials at Union Carbide.  Never admitting fault for the prevailing tragedy that occurred because of their actions, Union Carbide structured a series of well thought out smoke screens immediately after the incident occurred. These were designed to purely shift the blame from themselves and onto someone or something else, ultimately clearing their names and returning their stock prices back to the strong position it was before the Bhopal catastrophe. These included such things as terrorist plots, disgruntled employees and human error. Ironically these million dollar ad campaigns and legal battles could have simply been put into designing better safety management plans and better training of local managers and workers.


Unfortunately even incidents like these don’t change a generation of thinking that the people that matter are the investors and not the employees or the nameless faces that work tirelessly in unsafe plants to ensure companies have a product to sell. Union Carbide had a responsibility to the people of Bhopal, to protect them from harm and to ensure that they where working in a safe environment and not a ticking time bomb. Once again however the money to be made in their eyes outweighed the cost of the 3000-8000 people that died as a result of this horrible disaster.

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Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
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