The Fire Of Rampant Consumerism

In October 1973 an industrial neighborhood in Chelsea, Massachusetts was burned to the ground after a row of chemical storage warehouses burst into flames. The fire could be seen from fifteen miles away in the Blue Hills, but that conflagration was nothing in comparison to the last week’s toxic waste fire at Ruihai Logistics in Tianjin, China, which is 159 kilometers downwind to the southeast of Beijing. Over a hundred people were killed and nearly a thousand injured by the fiery cocktail of calcium carbide, sodium nitrate, and potassium nitrate.

According to Wikipedia the first detonation in the port area happened near 11pm. Its blast was estimated to have the power of 3 tonnes of TNT. Seismographs registered 2.4 on the Richter Scale, however the second blast was ten times more powerful. The resulting fireballs reached hundreds of meters high and a Japanese satellite filmed the series of deadly explosions.

After the disaster Chinese authorities arrested a dozen executives from Ruihai Logistics China and the West have a common agreement to quash any reports on the country’s near-lethal pollution levels. That danger is the price of progress and profit.

Despite both starting the ‘Ch’, China is no Chelsea.

But a good fire is always a good fire.

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