On February 3, a Norfolk Southern freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. Over 100,000 gallons of hazardous chemicals were dumped in the community, contaminating water, soil, and storm drains and potentially killing more than 43,000 fish, crustaceans, amphibians, and other marine animals. In the aftermath of the incident, many used it as an opportunity to assign blame without any evidence or critical thinking. As a result, the train derailment has become extremely divisive, even though everyone seems to share the same goal of wanting to understand what happened and how to prevent it in the future. Ethan discusses why blame and accountability are two very different things and how shifting to accountability can allow us to find common ground and find a constructive path forward after this train derailment in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.”
The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise.
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Writers: Ethan Brown, Velina Georgi, Mo Polyak, Madeleine Salman, Maddy Schmidt
Fact Checker: Olivia Amitay
Editor: Megan Antone
Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Hallie Cordingley, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt
Ad Voiceover: Megan Antone
Music: Brett Sawka
The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.