In October 1958, the No. 2 Dominion Steel and Coal Company (DOSCO) colliery at Springhill, Nova Scotia, was the world's deepest and most dangerous coal mine. It should have been closed, but it wasn't for a couple of vital reasons. For one, Springhill was the quintessential one-industry town, and the pit stayed open even though it was losing money, workplace hazards were killing miners, and the burning of coal was releasing vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It was all about jobs; closing the mine would have devastated the local economy. At the same time, with DOSCO's parent company desperately in need of profits, senior management in far-off Toronto ordered the men in charge of the Springhill mine to increase production. Doing so was a recipe for the disaster that left 75 men dead, wrecked the mine, and killed the town of Springhill. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the "Big Bump" -- a Canadian tragedy that stands as a cautionary tale, the lessons of which the world would do well to heed in this time of existential climate crisis.
Check out Ken's latest book, Blood on the Coal, at KFPL