Friday, October 15, 2010

Toxic red sludge in Hungary

As an environmental journalist I was taken to Kathmandu to be educated on the bursting of the boundaries of lakes which have been formed in the Himalayas due to the melting of the glaciers. These lakes called GLOFS suddenly can burst their banks if the levels of water, pressure a weak embankment and poof! whole villages get swept away in the deluge.This is a phenomenon occuring due to Climate Change due to who else? We of course- man increasing his carbon footprint and green house gas emissions and causing galloping Climate Change.

Now in Hungary, again it is a manmade disaster - toxic red sludge has leaked out of lakes formed by man to hold this waste product of aluminium production. 100 miles south west of Budapest, in a town called Ajka there was an aluminium plant. Thirty million tons of sludge was put into these lakes. Now 35.3 million tons has leaked out so far poisoning 15.4 square miles of land.The sludge has engulfed three villages killing three and injuring 123.

Plumes heading for the Danube river have been reported and tons of plaster has been poured into the Marcal river to prevent the sludge from flowing forward and contaminating larger areas.

Look at the catastrophe occuring under our very own noses in the Western Ghats. How many of us realise that all that ore is being dug out to send off to China without thinking of the destruction happening to biodivesity and forest cover of the Western Ghats?

Its man's greed that will finally be the destruction of this once beautiful planet of ours. If we think that it may happen in 2020 or later in 2050 - I doubt it. The way we are racing ahead unmindful of the consequences, I doubt there will be anything left for our children to inherit, leave alone our children's children!

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