Masters of Disaster (2019)

2019

Genre: Drama

Plot: Our larger theme: Getting the powers that be to ACT and prevent disasters before they happen. The levees in New Orleans, Japan's deadly catastrophe at Fukushima, the BP oil spill, all have in common that warnings were ignored. Part 1) we have an urgent situation involving the San Pedro Petrochemical Plant, a massive Butane filled facility constructed during the Nixon administration over 40 years ago. Safety codes were bypassed during the convenient "emergency" of the 1973 oil crunch, and at present it is a disaster waiting to happen. The place's age has made it more fragile than ever, and the danger of the chemicals stored there is such that (God forbid) either an earthquake or a terrorist attack could set off a nuclear-scale blast, which aside from killing tens of thousands of people, would also devastate the Los Angeles Harbor and Long Beach Ports, cutting off commerce on the whole western coast, diverting all shipping to other locals and turning the Los Angles economy into another Detroit. Local residents are worried and politicians are doing nothing. We mean to use the San Pedro issue as a keyhole through which to view a world of dangerous neglect. Prominent among the several experts we are interviewing is Professor Robert Bea of UC Berkeley, a leading specialist in risk assessment. Part 2) One of Bob's principal battles these days concerns the California San Joaquin Delta -- those levees are crumbling and inadequate. A major flood there would crumble them and destroy California's water supply. He is fighting the same uphill battle against this impending disaster as residents of San Pedro are against the Rancho Palos Verdes Butane Tanks. Bob Bea is not only expert on the Delta and Rancho situations. He was present at two New Orleans Hurricanes -- 1964 and Katrina in 2005. He warned again and again that the levees were inadequate against disaster and went unheard. To no avail! An old and tragic story. Later his expertise as an Oil Man brought him aboard the as a key analyst during BP's Deepwater Horizon Spill. (60 MINUTES filmed him back then, and he is brilliant in the file footage.) Part 3) What we don't know about BP Oil and the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. Read More

S01E03

Season

1
Episode 3: Rifle Revival
Episode 1: Revenge of the War Machine