“Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them” -Bruce Lee
Man-made disasters, avoidable phenomenons caused by negligence, ignorance and the cruelty of human beings. The concept itself is in no way new to mankind, every little action and mistake from humanity can contribute to a disaster. How can one be held accountable if the mistakes they made are not apparent? How can someone be tried for a disaster they did not mean to commit?
Truth is, no matter if they do or do not know the consequences of their own actions, they should at least have some sort of idea of the dangers that their actions can bring.
Humans, like most creatures, are programmed from birth to always act in their self-interest, and that is why they are expected to know better when they become older. Thus, if they were ever to do something dangerous, they are expected to know exactly what they are doing and what could happen because of it. So, in other words, if someone who is mature causes a disaster, they are judged solely on their intention and nothing else.
Essentially, man-made disasters can only be caused deliberately or completely by accident. The only exception is that the circumstances of the disaster are too voluntary to be determined as an accident. For example, man-made disasters such a wildfire or a nuclear mishap can be completely accidental, however, if the trigger to the disaster were undeniably transparent, then the question of the catalyst befalls the one who was ignorant enough to cause it. In other words, if someone did something that would clearly cause an accident, then they should obviously be blamed for it.
Once someone causes a disaster, We should be asking the question of the magnitude of the situation. If a man-made disaster happens and no one dies, then the most any government can do is fine and imprison the perpetrator with property damage. On the other hand, what if the indirect disaster caused many casualties, such as mass death worldwide. Would the perpetrator be found guilty of direct mass murder, imprisoned, extremely fine, or do they walk away free?
Well, it should be no surprise if the perpetrator was solely blamed for the mass murder they committed. Unless, of course, if their motives are justified, if the court rules that everything the perpetrator did was by the laws and that they had no motives to violate them, then they could just walk away with nothing more than just a simple fine.
Needless to say, the “I didn’t mean to” alibi would not always work in every situation, there is only so much an accident can do to cover up one’s own ignorance and carelessness. There is only so much that the people will believe, especially if the perpetrator’s actions caused major casualties and damages, and in the end, they are the only ones who know their motives and exact actions that caused the disaster. So, at most times if a defendant pleads innocent to something stupidly catastrophic, the jury would most likely rule on the fact that the person is lying.
Whether the disaster was an accident or not, the perpetrator should still be held responsible for the lives they have ruined, for the homes they have destroyed and for the inconvenience they have brought to the rest of the world.