Shipbreaking: The Dirtiest Job

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 2/28/2008 01:46:00 AM

Journalist William Langewiesche wrote a notable article sometime ago in the Atlantic on the shipbreaking "industry"--if you can call it that. Taking apart ships to reuse the raw materials contained in them is nasty and brutish business, for sure. However, it does provide livelihoods for thousands of folks in South Asia, no matter how meager. The Atlantic article is well worth reading if you haven't seen it yet. Meanwhile, Foreign Policy offers a photo essay on shipbreaking. What jogged my memory, actually, is this 60 Minutes excerpt about the topic at hand. For more, there is also another video clip on YouTube about Chittagong in Bangladesh which may be considered as the capital of shipbreaking. It's harrowing stuff, but with commodity prices so high, scrap metal and other salvageable materials command a pretty good price nowadays. Greenpeace has an entire section on the industry and its associated ills.