Carbon Footprint

This post is also available in: Dutch.

In my mind, this video recording symbolizes the footprint left behind on Curacao by the people from the 20th century. The refinery on Curacao was an essential link in the war industry during especially the second world war, at that time mainly orchestrated by the Americans. There was a huge demand for  aircraft fuel, the lighter fractions from the imported unrefined oil. The heavy, tar and asphalt-like substances were dumped in a large outdoor depot, now known as the asphalt lake. When the Shell closed its doors in 1985, the refinery was transferred to the local government for a symbolic fee of 1 guilder, provided ‘no more questions would be asked’. Not something to be proud of. Several cleanup initiatives have come and gone. But how contaminated the deeper soil layers are, and whether this area can be cleaned even a little bit, remains the question. The tropical legacy of the Royal Dutch Shell …..

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