Corporate leaders will explicitly state that their allegiance is to their stockholders not anyone else.
It is morally bankrupt of them (and their toadies like Wesseley) as Athene stated the case of Unum, to not pay legitimate claims.
But our governments also have an obligation to enact and enforce laws that bring corporations to heel. Government's are indeed financially bankrupt and unable (even if the will was there) to protect citizens from corporate greed.
It really is the corporations in charge now. SW has decided to back the winning horse. If he has a conscience he's parked it at the door.
But, 'there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.' L Cohen
Let's hope they're now so greedy, they're sowing the seeds of their own destruction.
This case involves the oil spill off the Shetland Islands, which
are a group of islands located off the northern shore of
Scotland, United Kingdom. On 5 January 1993 the
Liberian-registered, U.S. owned oil tanker Braer ran aground off
the southern tip of the Shetlands when it could not restart its
engines after they became flooded with seawater. The Braer was
"owned and operated by Braer Corp., in turn owned by B&H
Shipping, Stamford, Conn." ("Tanker Spills Norwegian Crude Oil
Off Shetlands," Oil & Gas Journal, 11 January 1993, p. 26.). It
was insured by Skuld Protection & Indemnity, Oslo, Norway.
The oil spill threatened the populations of seabirds, salmon,
sea-trout, gray seals, otters, and other species on and around
the islands. A few days after the spill occured a fine mist with
particles of oil drifted over the islands and actually left an
oily residue on the island's sheep. However, it was determined
"that the level of air pollution after the spill was extremely
low despite the oily mist" (NOTE: "Shetland Oil Spill Did Little
Harm," New Scientist, 26 June 1993, p. 8.).
On 12 January the tanker proceeded to break up into three
sections after it was continually thrown against the rocks of the
island. The entire cargo of 85,000 tons (620,000 barrels) of
Norwegian light crude headed for Canada spilled into the sea
around the southern end of the main Shetland Island. "The $11
million shipment was destined for Ultramar Canada Inc.'s 125,000
b/d refinery at St. Romuald, Que." ("Tanker Spills Norwegian
Crude Oil Off Shetlands," Oil & Gas Journal, 11 January 1993, p.
26.). None of the oil could be recovered from the tanker while
it was aground because of the high winds (up to 100 mph) and the
The choppy water turned out to be a help rather than a hinderance
because it prevented an oil slick from forming on the surface,
and it broke up the spill quickly. According to one report
"around 30 percent of the oil has been deposited in the sediments
of two basins...[t]his oil will slowly break down..." ("Shetland
Oil Spill Did Little Harm," New Scientist, 26 June 1993, p. 8.).
The spill was aided by chemical dispersants dropped on it by
British planes. "[T]hey (the dispersants) break the oil into
globules that sink below the surface, and so help to save sea
birds from the immediate danger of oiling" ("The Wreck of the
Braer," Economist, 9 January 1993, p. 50.).
At first, it looked as if this oil spill would be on par (in
terms of damage) with the wreck of the Exxon Valdez in 1989.
However, the accident turned out to be relatively harmless even
though it was the twelfth largest spill in history ("A Disaster
That Wasn't," Discover, January 1994, p. 69.). The damage to the
wildlife was as follows:
"The official death tolls -- the number of carasses
recovered -- included 1,542 seabirds, several thousand
pounds of commercially farmed salmon, 10 gray seals,
and 4 otters. Two of the otters were run over by a
camera crew covering the spill, however, and the other
two probably died of old age" (Ibid.).
Quite clearly the damage could have been much worse. A year
after the incident occured there is no glaring sign that the oil
spill even happened. Except for shellfish in a very limited
area, all official restrictions on seafood originating from the
Shetlands have been removed. "[F]inancial losses from pollution
damage had been largely compensated by the International Oil
Pollution Fund and the ship's insurers, and commercial activities
were relatively back to normal" ("Lucky Braer Escape Leaves No
Room for Complacency," Lloyds List, 4 January 1994).
The question of indirect losses in tourism, transport,
environment, fisheries, and aquaculture have yet to be settle
completely. The media coverage of the event is said to have
negatively affected tourism to the Shetlands and the marketing of
products from there. A study of these indirect losses should be
released soon, then another meeting with the insurers will be
held to obtain futher compensation.
It may not be related to the above, but a doctor-friend of mine was asked to visit Shetland to meet with patients as there was such a high rate of ME on the island. Could it have been caused by exposure to OP in the sheep dip...........or was it connected to the pollution of the oil spillage?
Alex, yes there was the mussel food poisoning case - although I think they maybe exported the problem elsewhere, to posh London restaurants, rather than it remaining on the islands. Actually I don't know if anyone got ill from it, or if they caught it in time.
Countrygirl, that's very interesting. I didn't know there was a high rate of ME on Shetland, although I did know of a woman there with it. I thought it might be a relatively healthy place to live, but yes there could be the sheep dip problem too. The OP activists were meeting with Andy Burnham recently, to highlight how many people are still ill with it.
Just looked at the Camelford article written by Wessley and he was referring to the Braer oil spill on Shetland.
Nevertheless, the response to the recent Shetland oil spill was exemplary . The tanker Braer ran aground off the coast of the Scottish Shetland Isles and spilt crude oil from 5th to llth January 1993. A survey including non-exposed controls was started on the 13th and completed on the 21st. A transient increase in headache, sore throat and itchy eyes only was found, and that seems to be the end of the matter.* Although locals may cite dour Gaelic stoicism as shaping such an outcome, this speedy public health response must have obviated harmful speculation. Both the islands and north Cornwall depend on tourism and farming, and both would wish to convey an image as healthy, scenic, non-urban environments. Unlike Cornwall, the doctors in Shetland were lucky not to have had to deal with the irresponsible reporting which so inflamed passions in Camelford. These and other variables which turn an incident into a legend, merit serious study. Future investigations of environmental incidents should recall that social and cultural factors are as important as medical ones. * An increase in psychological morbidity was recently reported 6 months after the grounding of Braer, in those exposed .
Patronising twat. And ill-informed. No local would say they had "Gaelic stoicism" as Shetlanders are Scandinavian in origin with no Gaelic heritage. Then he puts in a footnote saying there was an increase in psychological morbidity 6 months later - presumably in spite of their "dour Gaelic stoicism" and the fact that they weren't influenced by any "irresponsible reporting". And presumably that would be the kind of psychological morbidity brought on by excessive exposure to petrochemicals...
You couldn't make this guy up, in your worst nightmare. Somebody please wave a wand and make him go away.