Thursday, July 22, 2010


BEIJING (ABC/AFP) - Greenpeace has captured dramatic photos of an oil worker being rescued Tuesday after trying to fix an underwater oil pump off the coast of Dalian, China. The oil worker became submerged in the slick. The photos show the men up to their chins in oil, fear on their faces, before firefighters jump in and pull them to safety, their bodies covered in oil. Chinese authorities are working to contain an oil spill on the country’s north-east coast as warnings emerge of a heavy long-term environmental impact. The government has mobilised hundreds of fishing boats and other vessels to clean up the spill that occurred in the port city of Dalian. But Greenpeace says many people thrown into the effort have been reduced to using their bare hands. Greenpeace was there trying to assess the oil spill - the worst China has ever seen - while the Chinese rushed to prevent the oil slick from moving into international waters. Crude oil began spilling into the Yellow Sea last week when a pipeline exploded and started a fire that raged for 15 hours. The spill has spread across 70 square miles. The cause of the explosion is still being investigated.

The spill happened last Friday after two pipelines exploded at an oil storage depot, triggering a spectacular blaze that burned throughout the weekend. Shortly after the spill, officials said about 1,500 tonnes of oil were spilled into the Yellow Sea off Liaoning province. A firefighter involved in clean-up efforts drowned on Tuesday after he entered the oil-slathered waters to try to clean a pump sucking up spilt oil, state media reports said. A report late Wednesday said the slick had spread to 946 square kilometres, and stretched as far as 90 kilometres along the coast of the Yellow Sea. Authorities have expressed confidence in corralling the spill and have repeatedly pointed out the reported volume of oil is minuscule compared to the US oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

The visual impact of the photos that show the rescue of a firefighter dying in the Chinese port of Dalian makes us think about the future of a humanity that has been used to living with oil up to the neck, suffering a catastrophe after another due to the strong desire to manipulate natural resources using high technology but without awareness of its consequences.

There is no doubt that technology has made great strides in understanding some things about this world. For example, certainly we know much about many biological processes of the body. According to biochemistry - as understood through reductionism - the body is a collection of atomic particles. Although we may understand something about the gross physical operation of our body, science has no way to explain how our consciousness operates. ... Now our brightest brains bless us with a technology for controlling the physical world, but no one can control his or her own mind. Since no one knows the basis of consciousness, therefore whatever technology humanity produces brilliantly misses the goal of life. ... This dogmatic adherence to materialistic principles of science and technology has crippled scientific research and impoverished our understanding of nature as a living whole.

The Hare Krishna Views On Science :
When Technology Blinds and Fails”
Lecture at India Institute of Technology,
Mumbai, February 27, 2001.

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