I admit I have a deep distrust for anything the communist leadership and the state controlled media of China proclaims. But when Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao reiterated before a United Nations conference on the environment Friday China’s position that, as a developing country, it had no real role in the world’s environment and global warming issues, I was again dismayed and angry.
China’s sprawling and largely unregulated coal-fired industries are spreading a brown pall over the globe. Every household in China cooks and heats with coal. Coal soot blackens Chinese buildings and homes, inside and out, like never before seen on earth, even in Scotland 100 years ago. And scientific study after scientific study has said that Chinese people die premature deaths in the millions due to pollution.
Above: Tiananmen Square in Beijing, just before this summer’s Olympics. Photo: Odid Bality, Associated Press.
Wen Jiabao, a scientist, a geologist in fact, knows all this to be true. But to continue making inexpensive goodies for your local Wall Mart which keeps the Chinese people employed and earns China a tidy profit, Mr. Wen will continue to foster the myth, in fact the lie, that it took decades for the “developed nations” to learn to be environmentally smart so therefore China has decades to do the same.
The immensity of China’s destruction of the earth is almost unfathonable. Seventy percent of China’s rivers and inland waters are polluted and some 90% of its ground water has pesticide and toxic levels of fertiliter and animal dung in it. The air in China pegs all measurement instruments with pollution like an earthquake registering a “ten” on the Richter scale. The Chinese government has almost no control over its far-flung industries, as the poisoned milk and other food product scandals proved. So now China, even when equipped with thousands of ways learned in the West to cut down on pollution, is urging the world to look the other way.
Above: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao speaks to Danish Climate Minister Connie Hedegaard in Beijing on Friday.
The world should say “No way” to China on pollution and the environment.
But as the decision is to be made at the United Nations, where other “developing nations” dominate and the United States is the Great Satan, expect the U.S. and other Western nations to work their butts off on the environment on a fool’s errand for years to come: because the destruction of our planet earth by China will continue unabated as long as the West remains “tolerant” and accepts such lies as those spewed by Mr. Wen.
By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia
November 7, 2008
Cyclists pass through thick pollution from a factory in Yutian, 2006. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and a top UN official urged industrialised nations Friday to alter their lifestyles and not let the global financial crisis hamper climate change efforts.(AFP/File/Peter Parks)
The New York Times’ produced a nine article series on pollution in China before this summer’s Olympics. Here is an exerpt:
In its rush to re-create the industrial revolution that made the West rich, China has absorbed most of the major industries that once made the West dirty. Spurred by strong state support, Chinese companies have become the dominant makers of steel, coke, aluminum, cement, chemicals, leather, paper and other goods that faced high costs, including tougher environmental rules, in other parts of the world. China has become the world’s factory, but also its smokestack.
This mass shift of polluting industries has blighted China’s economic rise. Double-digit growth rates have done less to improve people’s lives when the damages to the air, land, water and human health are considered, some economists say. Outmoded production equipment will have to be replaced or retrofitted at high cost if the country intends to reduce pollution.
China’s worsening environment has also upended the geopolitics of global warming. It produces and exports so many goods once made in the West that many wealthy countries can boast of declining carbon emissions, even while the world’s overall emissions are rising quickly.
Read more and link to other articles:
China, Air Pollution and the Olympics
In China, airborne pollution causes more than 650,000 premature deaths a year, according to medical professionals.
·”International experts said that hundreds of millions of Chinese are exposed every day to the potentially lethal mix of soot particles and smog.” New York Times, Dec. 9, 2007.
• A UN Environment Report indicated that high levels of air pollution were a “legitimate concern” for anyone taking part in the Beijing Olympics.
• Beijing is so choked with smog that athletes are concerned about competing. In fact on 9 April Olympic chief Jacques Rogge conceded that air pollution was an issue for athletes’ health in Beijing during the Games. He earlier denied fears over pollution, but then suggested that certain events of more than one hour could be exacerbated by the weather. The marathon, road cycling, triathlon, open water swimming and race walking are the events. Most at risk are the marathon, road cycling, triathlon, open water swimming and race walking.
• Marathon record-holder Haile Gebrselassie withdrew from the Olympic event because of the pollution.
• New Zealand and American athletes wore face masks frequently while in Beijing.
• Some countries such as Britain, Australian and Canada delayed their teams’ arrivals in Beijing until the last possible moment to protect their athletes from air pollution.
• The Daily Telegraph reported that Britain’s swimming team trained in Osaka, Japan instead of in China nbecause of the air pollution. The Canadian team provided athletes with asthma inhalers.
• In an interview with the BBC, the World Health Organization’s Dr. Michal Krzyzanowski warned visitors to Beijing that “high pollution levels may be a trigger to serious problems if they already have, for instance, cardio-vascular disease. Those who come with asthma may suffer attacks.”