Thursday, May 15, 2014

Turkish Mine Explosion

In April of 2010 a mining disaster occurred in West Virginia, at that time I posted a poem by Bill Richards dedicated to coal miners of Wales, UK, but the words will apply to miners everywhere. The poem is posted today with thoughts of the many miners killed and injured, and of bereaved families in this week's terrible mine explosion in Turkey. It's horrendous that such events can still happen in 2010 and 2014, in spite of improved conditions and new technology. So much depends on the integrity of mine owners,  and whether they fully uphold safety regulations. The poem came from a website here.
Without Choice

Child miners who worked and sometimes died in total darkness,
many never reaching their teenage years;

Small undernourished boys, some born with defects of the eyes,
limbs or spine, plucked from school at an early age, seeing
daylight on Sundays only;

Victims of major disasters by explosions and other causes, when
hundreds died at a stroke; often there were several deaths in the
same household;

The lone deaths that went almost unremarked, each no less a
disaster for the family, sometimes one left without a breadwinner;

Gaunt, hollow-eyed, spent men, inhabiting fragile, blue-scarred
shells of bodies, destined to die at an early age;

Survivors who lost limbs or faculties, or suffered disfigurement;

Those whose ordeals were prolonged in later years as bed or
chair-bound invalids gasping for breath, their life threads
maintained by boxes of tablets and oxygen cylinders;

Surface workers who lost life and limb as they worked in dusty
screens or unsheltered areas, often in excesses of rain, cold and

Those who lived to attain much anticipated retirement, yet only
briefly experienced it;

Wonderful ' Mams' who selflessly went without, giving priority to
the needs of children and husbands. In harsh environments many
aged before their time and prematurely slipped away;

Often their mantles would be assumed by teenaged daughters
who became women overnight, caring for fathers and becoming
mothers to siblings, sometimes at the cost of personal

Unsuspecting, innocent babes and guardians, the most cruelly
punished of all, dying in the ' safety ' of schoolrooms.

Even today, the effects of some of these once common
occurrences are ongoing. In a world of comparative plenty and
justice, they apply proper perspectives and priorities to complaints
about current everyday life.

by Bill Richards.
Cambrian Colliery, Rhondda.

(Thank you, once again, Mr. Richards.)


JD said...

You may not have seen this from a few years ago-

Nothing changes, unfortunately. There are currently huge protests in Turkey about the privatisation of the mines and, like I said, nothing changes at the top -

mike said...

The price paid in human and other species' lives for energy consumption is massive. Mining, processing, and shipping fossil fuels (and other minerals) has caused incredible damage to the environment. Now, the entirety of our natural world is on the brink from burning those fuels.

Most people do not comprehend the vast petroleum-related products contained in their every-day-lives: insecticides, herbicides, fertilizer, cosmetics, detergents, pharmaceuticals, plastics, asphalt, tires, waxes, ink, paper coatings, chemicals...etc. It's ubiquitous in its many forms.

The "Great Pacific and Atlantic Garbage Patch" is a complex of macro and micro plastic, chemical sludge, and petro-related "stuff". The patch in the Pacific Ocean is thought to be twice the size of the USA in surface area, but unknown in volume (depth)...ditto for the Atlantic patch. Much toxic coal ash is washed into the ocean and settles to the ocean floor.

We humans are determined to kill ourselves and take the planet with us. The short-term gains are incredibly idiotic (murder-suicide) considering the impending outcome.

Twilight said...

JD ~ I hadn't seen the NO post from 2010 - thank you. Good one! Some comments - not so much.

Thanks for the link to Daily Mail report. I hope the protestors stick at it - and more power to them!

Cream is supposed to rise to the top, but in everything but milk the reverse is often true.

Twilight said...

mike ~ The whole thing got out of hand - like so much else in the 20th and 21st centuries. Coal, in its early days must have been such a boon to early man, but once the industrial revolution kicked into gear the trouble started (though people then were unaware of just how much trouble).

Miners through the centuries have risked their lives to "feed the brute", and in process to line the pockets of uncaring mine owners and corporations. In spite of what we now know of the damage caused to the environment, in many ways, by over-use of coal and products manufactured from it, I have nothing but the utmost respect for all miners. Most oil workers, in stark contrast have it easy-peasy.

Again in this as in everything man, or more accurately its governing bodies, has failed to achieve balance.