September 21st, 2006

The weapons of the world

I can’t find the source document quickly, so this is from a local reporting service.

Oxfam reports worldwide weapons sales are now exceeding the levels at the height of the cold war, topping $1060 billion. I guess peace has it’s price (sad pun intended).

That website has some pretty interesting stories btw, have a look.

ps: It might be noteworthy that in my country weapons possession in general is illegal and the use of force is what is called “a goverment monopoly”. I concur to the fact, esp to you Alaskan folks, that we don’t have bears running around.

September 21st, 2006

The toxic waste that killed 7 Africans (so far)

European Law: You cannot carry around toxical waste cross border without a ton of permits.

Exemption: “Normal” ship waste, ie what goes to the sludge tanks, is exempt.

Probo Koala

Scenario: Ship toxic waste to Amsterdam, mix it in the sludge tanks (400 tons???), state it’s exempt (the harbor inspecetion was obviously sleeping), so you don’t have to have it costly ($600.000) processed in the European Union, nor need a permit (unobtainable for this stuff anyway), and ship it to Africa. Dump it in the open air. Ensure you’re in international water before the alarm bell rings.
Result: 7 dead (so far), 100′s hospitalized.

NIMBY. Have a nice day.

Update: Added costs and picture. Original Waste owner, Trafigura based in a suburb of Amsterdam, is starting to pay for the medical costs of the survivors, so far $50.000.

Update: Estonia’s government, who grounded the Probo Koala, have released the ship today (oct 10th).