Wednesday 24 May 2017

Gene Kerrigan: After such courage, the only way is up

The Chilean mining disaster was a result of greed, the rescue a result for humanity, writes Gene Kerrigan

The display of courage, skill and unity at the San Jose mine was so impressive that it's tempting to engage in a group hug with all humanity. But Manuel Gonzalez didn't succumb to sentimentality. He kept his eye on the ball, and so should we.

Relief at the saving of life can't, on its own, account for the extraordinary global euphoria surrounding the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners (about that number will die in the country's mines in any one year).

The widespread elation may have something to do with the way the job was done -- the way the trapped miners, isolated from the world during the first 17 days, imaginatively organised their own survival routines. And the solidarity and self-sacrifice of their rescuers.

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