"Vigilant regulation and careful public preparation for emergencies went far in making the destruction and death in Japan much less ghastly than it might have been...
The struggle is not over. Child labor and fire safety standards remain scarce in too many of the factories in the global South that now manufacture the consumer goods we enjoy.
Even with regard to wealthy nations, there are ways in which we invite more man-made disasters. These range from inadequate safeguards for nuclear power (many question whether nuclear energy can ever be safely regulated—and thus whether such facilities should be built in the first place) to our failure to take action around global climate change, which the Daily Mail tells us “could spark more volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis.” As Hurricane Katrina showed, these emergencies often bring to the fore very unnatural divisions of race and class. In these respects and others, there is still much to do."
to read Mark Engler's article published in: Dissent magazine, March 15, 2011, click on
Yet, amid our fresh concern for those in Japan and our ongoing determination that tragedies like the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire not be repeated, we can be grateful for measures that have been undertaken in the interest of public safety. We can be thankful for those who insisted on regulations in the past that, today, are saving lives.