Technically, this doesn't really qualify as a lapse of memory, I suppose. At least not my memory. Because, when news that, on December 22, 2008, 5.4 million tons of ash generated from fifty years of coal burst through a dike near Kingston, Tennessee, threatening farmlands and the nearby river, I really wasn't aware of it. I don't doubt that it made the national news. I do doubt that there was any sort of sustained coverage of it.
Here's the link .
What I find myself objecting to here is the idea that if you miss a couple of nights of evening news, in the holiday season--I mean, I work in retail and this was three days before Christmas--a disaster of this magnitude would simply disappear from our collective view is outrageous. It not only has implications for the lives and livelihoods of the people of that region, it spreads outward to hundreds of other coal ash storage sites across the land, raising questions of their safety, and it reaches backward and forward in history into the nature and wisdom of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and by extension, to the nature and wisdom of many other government led schemes. I use the word 'schemes' deliberately, as I've noticed on the BBC that this is quite a neutral word when it comes to big ideas dreamed up by government or business, but as an American, I can't really hear the word 'scheme' and fail to be concerned.
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