Most rust-belt cities are rebranding themselves with all sorts of green/sustainable accolades lately. Modest accomplishment is trumpeted with loud fanfare.
Amid this greenwashing, city councils jubilantly downplay the harm remaining heavy industries cause. Usually, they pretend they don’t exist, or that JOBS are more important so go back to bed, pollution isn’t that bad.
This deception proves effective: people often don’t believe Portland, Oregon was recently ranked the 3rd most polluted American city.
Detroit has never really downplayed it’s pollution. Romanticized are the endless hollow shells of factories crawling with Ruin Tourists eager to photograph these monolithic hulks of brick and steel; irrelevant is the contaminated soil they occupy. Few of these structures are safe to explore, but nobody cares much. They’re empty of workers, full of graffiti, and part of the new Motor City zeitgeist drawing in the Canucks and Aussies.
But just south of Detroit, surrounded by a man-made moat, there resides a fully functional black tumor of heavy industry that scorches the land, sea, and sky like some Mad Max/Matrix crossover nightmare. Pictured below is the mysterious, highly guarded, Zug Island.