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'Devastating' Impacts Feared as Oil Spill Threatens UNESCO Heritage Site in Pacific

'Devastating' Impacts Feared as Oil Spill Threatens UNESCO Heritage Site in Pacific

Eoin Higgins, staff writer

An oil spill in the Pacific Ocean's Solomon Islands after a mining company's cargo ship ran aground is threatening an endangered environmental gem.

"The impact of this oil spill will have a devastating effect on the surrounding environment, including potentially on a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the livelihood of the people of Rennell," Australia's High Commissioner in the Solomon Islands Rod Brazier said in a statement.

From the article:

" Bintan has abdicated any legal responsibility for the spill, claiming that it was only the chartering company and thus had no liability for the crash. The ship’s operator, King Trader Ltd., sent a team to salvage the ship, according to the Associated Press .

“Yet Bintan has continued loading operations in the bay where the ship ran aground, stirring up the oil and making the problem worse, the Guardian reported.”

Bintan may be correct about the limits of its legal liability regarding the spill, but moral responsibility would seem to dictate that it cease immediately any activities that make things worse.

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Capitalism should be redefined “The freedom to do anything you want to generate a profit and not be held responsible for your actions”.

This exactly what the Koch brothers advocate when they talk about “freedom”


Why would a transport ship loaded with bauxite need over 750 tons of fuel oil in its hull?
Here’s where the int’l bankruptcy attys step in and make the guilty party disappear w/out a trace. Their only assets will be a leaking ship and a bogus insurance policy. SNAFU’D by a free market mentality without corporate regulations.
What a mess for this community and our long-suffering Pacific Ocean.


The entire shipping industry is emblematic of where we’re at in terms of having sealed our own fate:

The largest cargo ships can transport over 19,000 containers at a time. The fuel they use is comparable to asphalt, you can walk across it:

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I don’t feel the urgency we usually see when there is a spill. Hello, anybody home?


Bauxite is hauled in large metal bins, much like floating grain silos. Still, that’s a damn lot of bunker (sp) oil. Need it reduced to gallons, maybe?

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Looking at the photos, the big question to me is what were they doing at that location. I see no docks or any kind of infrastructure for shipping at all where they are aground.