It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Monday, October 15, 2007

About China, for Blog Action Day

Today, according to blogger.com, is "blog action day", and we should blog about"the environment", which seems to me nothing more than saying "nonfiction". Eager to comply, though, I thought I'd mention something not directly climate-related which nevertheless says something about our quandary.

We will need the Chinese to participate in fixing our global problems, but the Chinese do not seem inclined to take sustainability seriously. The lengthy article is third in a series of five on China's environmental crisis. Quoting:

Toxic cyanobacteria, commonly referred to as pond scum, turned the big lake fluorescent green. The stench of decay choked anyone who came within a mile of its shores. At least two million people who live amid the canals, rice paddies and chemical plants around the lake had to stop drinking or cooking with their main source of water.

The outbreak confirmed the claims of a crusading peasant, Wu Lihong, who protested for more than a decade that the region’s thriving chemical industry, and its powerful friends in the local government, were destroying one of China’s ecological treasures.

Mr. Wu, however, bore silent witness. Shortly before the algae crisis erupted in May, the authorities here in his hometown arrested him. In mid-August, with a fetid smell still wafting off the lake, a local court sentenced him to three years on an alchemy of charges that smacked of official retribution.

2 comments:

inel said...

Ah, but don't lose heart altogether. There are collaborative EU-China CCS projects that bring a sense of longed for hope amid the environmental destruction.

On top of that, Pachauri is using his heightened status to urge India and China to work together *closely* to address climate change with determination and vigour.

inel said...

P.S. I just heard about this new Tyndall report on China's growing emissions which provides another perspective.