environmental disasters

Environmental Disasters and Regulatory Failures

There is a strong nexus between environmental disasters and regulatory failures.  The connection is most obvious for the BP oil spill, where weak regulation contributed to a massive spill whose ecological consequences are not yet completely known. It’s also apparent in the reactor melt-down after the recent Japanese tsunami, which has resulted in radioactive releases. …


Environmental Cover-ups and the Bureaucracy

Ann wants to know, “why do governments engage in obfuscation in the case of a major environmental crisis?”  The assumption here is that the public is going to find out eventually, so why cover it up now and make it worse?  Well, here’s a theory. Note that “governments” don’t do anything — people do.  “Government” …


Why Do Governments Cover Up the Truth About Environmental Disasters?

Until today, I had been impressed by what I took to be the Japanese government’s candor about the unfolding nuclear crisis.  Some of the statements from officials seemed surprisingly frank, with admissions from the Prime Minister on Monday, for example, that a “very high risk” of “further leakage” of radiation was possible.  Tokyo Electric Power …