OPINION: The Springhill Mine disaster is a cautionary tale the world would do well to remember – by Ken Cuthbertson (Globe and Mail – September 16, 2023)


Ken Cuthbertson’s latest book is Blood on the Coal: The True Story of the Great Springhill Mine Disaster.

Mark Twain once quipped, “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.” Twain was right about that. The urge to deny inconvenient truths is as widespread as it is timeless. We’ve had yet another vivid reminder of that in our summer of wildfires, droughts and monster storms.

Despite the cacophony of alarm bells warning us that if we continue doing what we’re doing, our addiction to fossil fuels won’t end well for us or for our planet, climate-change skeptics and energy-industry lobbyists insist that, at least for now, there’s no realistic option.

After all, the growth paradigm in our society dictates that the economy must always come first. That dollar-and-cents rationale has been trotted out so often it’s threadbare. Ignoring or denying the urgency and seriousness of a crisis – even the existential environmental crisis we’re now facing – is nothing new. History is littered with the bones of those who were loathe to face reality or decided they couldn’t afford to do so.

I was reminded of that while doing research into the Springhill mine disaster that my late Nova-Scotia-born mother sometimes talked about.

For the rest of this column: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-springhill-mine-disaster-is-a-cautionary-tale-the-world-would-do/