In discussing “A Civil Action” in the First-Year IDEAS seminar, we talked about the result of corporate carelessness on human life and their responsibility they have from the place of power that they are in. The case in the movie was on water cleanliness in Woburn, Massachusetts. This article “9 Years of Muck, Mud and Debate in Java” by Rachel Newer at the New York Times discusses a similar debate in eastern Java where a mud volcano has been spewing for nine years due to an eruption with an unknown cause. There has been debate and study over this through the years, trying to find out if the cause was due to an earthquake or a company’s carelessness while drilling for natural gas.
Twenty lives were lost due to the eruption, and multiple complications have arisen since that time. “This almost certainly could have been prevented if proper safety procedures had been taken,” says Dr. Tingay, an earth scientist from the University of Adelaide who is a lead author of the paper on the recent data on Lusi that supports the hypothesis that the event occurred through the fault of the company. The workers and scientists responsible for the technology in use are also responsible for the effects of this technology, especially when something like this catastrophe is possible. Instead of covering up the mistakes that they made, the company could have exercised more caution and been sure that no negative effects would come from their negligence. This is especially pressing when human lives are at risk, and when the results of this will carry on for many years after.