In breaking news this lunchtime, verdicts have come in on the Buncefield oil depot case. Buncefield (in Hertfordshire in the East of England) blew up five years ago, causing environmental damage that may well last for generations ( http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/engineering-firm-guilty-over-buncefield-blast-2004312.html ), and reminding us all of the terrible impact that dependence on fossil fuels inevitably has.
With the BP disaster unfolding in the U.S. at present, these verdicts in Buncefield are a powerful reminder of the dreadful damage that oil-dependence leads to. We were very lucky that no-one was killed by the immediate effects of the Buncefield explosion – but all that carbon will be in the atmosphere for generations to come, blighting the lives of people who aren’t even born yet. The guilty verdicts against the companies responsible are welcome, and I hope that a significant punishment is meted out. Big companies need to know that they cannot play Russian Roulette with our lives and our climate.