Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Someone Has to Do It

In yesterday's post, "A Tough Position to Be In," I briefly discussed the moral dilemma about the efforts in Japan to deal with the leaking reactors. Of course, I'm not the only person thinking about this! Someone has to do the job, yet whoever does it is risking their life. How does one decide whom to ask?

Charles M. Young, writing at This Can't Be Happening, has an answer of at least one person who should readily become directly involved.
If someone has to die an agonizing, terrifying, nauseating, blistering, stinking, metastasizing death, who should be first guy to run into the Fukushima reactors with a bucket of wet cement?

I nominate Jeffrey Immelt.

Immelt is chairman and CEO of General Electric. General Electric designed all six of the faulty Fukushima reactors. General Electric built three of them. General Electric claimed it was safe to build these reactors next to the ocean in an earthquake zone. General Electric built 23 reactors in the United States exactly like the ones melting down right now in Japan. General Electric has made colossal profits promoting nuclear power in Japan and around the world. Jeffrey Immelt made $15.2 million last year.

He makes the most money, it’s his company, and he tells everyone else what to do. At any time since taking over GE in 2000, he could have said, “Those plants are too dangerous. We sold them to Japan. We need to shut them down.” He didn’t do that. Hence the nuclear waste in Tokyo’s drinking water belongs to Jeffrey Immelt.

This is what Immelt says on the GE website: “I’m out talking about this company seven days a week, 24 hours a day, with nothing to hide. We’re a 130-year-old company that has a great record of high-quality leadership and a culture of integrity.”

That is the statement of a moral turd. A shameless, sociopathic, moral turd. GE ran the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, one of the most polluted places on the planet. GE has paved parking lots with nuclear waste. GE has released vast clouds of radiation on innocent, unwarned people in United States just to see what would happen. GE has done radiation experiments on the testes of prisoners without properly warning them. GE dumped 1.3 million pounds of PCBs into the Hudson River, making it poisonous for generations. GE has refused to clean up the PCBs in the Hudson and elsewhere. GE has lied repeatedly about the PCBs. GE is a serial polluter of ground water.

GE takes enormous pride in paying no corporate taxes in the United States. GE has been fined many times for defrauding the the Defense Department. GE has been fined many times for design flaws and safety violations at its nuclear plants in the United States. GE has shipped most of its operations overseas so it can pay workers less and get fined less.

GE owns a big chunk of NBC and MSNBC, which has been covering Japan less and less as the meltdown gets worse and worse. GE sees to it that all those NBC Dateline true crime documentaries don’t inform anyone about GE crimes. And last, but far from least, GE launched the political career of Ronald Reagan.

For all that, GE has been named “America’s Most Admired Company” in a poll conducted by Fortune magazine.

For all that, Jeffrey Immelt has been named Chairman of Obama’s Economic Advisory Panel.

For all that, I say give Jeffrey Immelt a one-way ticket to Fukushima and a bucket of wet cement. While he’s pouring it on the burning fuel rods, he can throw in his MBA from Harvard...
It is a sad fact that those most responsible for placing citizens and the earth in harm's way are not the ones who must risk life and limb to clean up the mess. They may suffer some embarrassment (maybe not) and they may lose some of their billions, but life tends to go on as usual.


  1. RT, in a recent posting you talked about making enemies because of desire. What could be your desire or motive to make Jeffry Immelt the enemy? When these nuclear plants were constructed Mr. Immelt was probably around ten years old innocently playing catch with his father. He became the CEO of GE September 7,2001. Previously, Immelt had headed up GE's Medical Systems division (now known as GE Healthcare) as its President and CEO. Is everyone that works at GE evil? Do you know the heart of this man that you have made into your enemy? Do you really know if he is a bad man or a good one? Have you done any research about him before posting this condemnation of him? Or do you have a bias that creates enemies?

  2. Charles Young nominated Immelt, not me. I merely shared his perspective.

    I don't know if Young meant it seriously or tongue-in-cheek. My opinion is that Young simply was pointing out that the people in charge almost never are the ones who must fix the misdeeds of their decisions.

    If you had read the quoted passage closely, you would have noticed that Young acknowledges that Immelt become chairman of GE in 2000. He then wrote, "...he could have said, “Those plants are too dangerous. We sold them to Japan. We need to shut them down.” He didn’t do that. Hence the nuclear waste in Tokyo’s drinking water belongs to Jeffrey Immelt."

    I believe his point is that if we discover misdeeds of the past and we do nothing to rectify them in the present, we own them as much as the people who established them.

  3. This article is clearly a vicious judgemental attack on a Jeffry Immelt and you nonchalantly posted it. Is it possible that Mr. Immelt isn't as evil as this article makes him out to be and that he just so happens to believe (maybe naively) in nuclear power? Do you really believe that Mr. Immelt wouldn't have spoke out if he felt that nuclear power was as evil as you think it is? I do not know Mr. Emmelt so I cannot speak about what he thinks. I do not know is heart to judge him either way.

  4. Let me see if I understand your point. If a person is a party to actions that jeopardize the health and safety of others, we shouldn't condemn their actions because we do not know what was in their heart? Do I have this right?

  5. Specifically what is Jeffrey Immelt's evil action if he actually believes in nuclear power? This article is saying that his evil action is that he didn't speak out against nuclear power plants. Mr.Immelt wasn't involved with the construction of these power plants in Japan and he is not a believer like you are regarding the evils of nuclear power. I am saying that you should look at his heart regarding this matter. Maybe discuss why nuclear power plants are not good instead of slamming this man's heart's intents that you do not really know or understand. Educate; don't condemn that which you really don't know anything about. Give people a little benefit of the doubt that you know nothing about. If you actually know something about him that is worthy of slamming. have at it. Somehow the far right needs to stop calling the left the devil and the same goes for the far left regarding calling the right the devil. All this hatred going back and forth! I lean to the left but I sure know some very good outstanding people that lean to the right and believe in nuclear power.

  6. So, if I point a gun at you and pull the trigger, I shouldn't be held responsible for my actions if I genuinely believe the bullet fired from the gun will not hurt you? Your widow shouldn't be upset with me and should instead try to educate me about how bullets fired from guns can do harm to living things?

  7. Your postings appear to be a mingling of your idealistic left-wing ego identity with the Tao. That is like injecting black ink into crystal pure clear water. With all due respect, there is something mucky about it and un-Taoish. What do you think RT? Is this possible that you are injecting your ego into the pureness of the Tao? Sorry for being so poky lately. I come from a sect that questions the elephant that is sitting in the living room including my own elephant. Are you serious?

  8. I'm simply trying to follow your line of reasoning.

  9. Ok. Follow your reasonings. What are you specifically talking about? What can't you follow?
    It looks pretty simple to me.

  10. It sounds like your reasoning is as follows: Actions and consequences don't matter, only intentions. If someone has good intentions and things go badly or even deadly, then we shouldn't hold them responsible for what their "good intentions" wrought.

  11. Ok. Help me follow your reasonings. What did Jeffrey Immelt do that he should be held responsible for?

  12. Ten years ago, he signed on with a company that has a poor environmental and safety track record. As this company's leader for the last 10 years, he has done little, if anything, to change this track record. From all appearances, he has continued to lead GE down this same dark road.

    During this time, he has laid off tens of thousands of workers, while his very profitable corporation has paid little to no federal taxes. He has pushed and lobbied for governments around the world to build more nuclear reactors produced by his company. This is the same company that built the reactors in Japan in a location prone to earthquakes and tsunamis. Many GE reactors in the US also are built on or near fault lines or on coasts that would suffer catastrophic problems due to a tsunami.

    If an individual becomes CEO of a corporation that has been guilty of many misdeeds AND that individual does not try to correct some or all of them, but continues them as "business as usual," then he inherits all the misdeeds, past and present.


Comments are unmoderated, so you can write whatever you want.