The guys from Mining.com told me today that the major news organizations contacted them asking for comments on the recent mining tragedy in Turkey. The Mining.com guys had no comment. “What do we know more than they do? What can we say that adds to insight?”
I asked why they had not directed these major news organizations to the resident blogger? “You are too controversial,” their reply.
Thus, unasked, I offer here my comments. Not insight—for too little is known of the causes and people to blame.
What I write here is prompted by the death of so many Turkish miners. Yet what I write could be about any of the too-frequent mining tragedies that splash across the news.
First, let us commemorate the dead miners. They lived—and died–working & dying to support their families.
Second, let us commiserate with the bereaved. They have lost spouses & lovers, relatives, friends, fathers & sons, and their life support. I can only cry silently.
But let us not be waylaid by this grief from asking who and what is responsible.
For these terrible accidents are not the act of Allah or God or Fate. These terrible deaths are the result of people and social mores.
The people who are obviously responsible are probably nice people of good intention. But they are the agents of a social system that failed. They are reflections of a society that does not care for human life; that does not honor the individual; that is dominated by greedy, powerful leaders, priests, politicians, and organizations.
Those who died, died because their society failed them. Not because bears attacked them.
Dare one conclude that their free press and informed journalists failed them–or did not exist in the first place?
It is tempting to seek to correlate mining tragedies with particular social systems. I believe there is one. China is the first horrible example. The coal fields of eastern USA is a second. And now Turkey and its semi-western, semi-muslim ethic joins them. This is delicate territory, so I go no further, but you can and should.
Let us conclude by hoping that those who died will be martyrs & saints and that their deaths will lead to changes & reforms that will make mining safer for those to come.