Thursday, July 3, 2014

China's Leaders Begin to Notice Pollution...or do They?

     Well, it's about damn time. According to a report on my News Republic app, on Thursday,  "China's Supreme Court has set up a special tribunal to deal with environmental cases..."

     Over the last three decades China has seen a rapid industrial expansion that has taken a heavy toll on the environment, and the Communist leaders  are becoming  "concerned by an increasing number of angry protests over the issue."

     That last bit is what got me. They're concerned about the protests but don't mention any concern about the general well being of the populace? Do China's leaders not know that no matter how high ranking they become, they remain human? What's hazardous to the peasant is hazardous to the king.

     They, China's leaders, make no mention of being concerned about health, but only about the "angry protests" that are becoming more and more frequent. 

     According to recent studies, approximately two-thirds of China's soil is polluted, and 60 percent of underground water is too contaminated to drink. Studies have also show that people in cities such as Beijing are regularly exposed to hazardous levels of air pollution. 

     These levels of contamination don't happen over night and China's pollution levels have been an issue for as long as I can remember, but it wasn't until March that Premier Li Keqiang "declared war" on pollution. 

     My question is, what the hell took so long for these people to wake the fuck up?

     China has made an amendment to its environmental protection laws, "imposing tougher penalties and pledging that violators will be 'named and shamed'." The report goes on to explain that enforcing these new laws will be more difficult in practice, especially for a country focused on driving growth. 

     "Fewer than 30,000 environment cases a year were accepted by Chinese courts from 2011 to 2013, said Zheng, out of an average 11 million total cases annually."

     I'm not sure why so few cases on this monumentally important matter have been addressed by the courts. My only guess is that the pollution levels are indicative of growth, and the most effective way to lower pollution levels would be to slow growth, at least until a cleaner for of energy can be used. But as stated in the report, China is bent on growth.

     Eventually, it's going to boil down to money, and if the world knows anything about China (or any other super power, for that matter), they love their money. China will have to make less money by slowing down production, while at the same time spending their beloved currency on cleaning up their country. 

     We'll see if this is just rhetoric, or if China is really going to step up and take care of the important things in life.

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