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posted on 08 April 2015

Environmental Pollution in China

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Hello from China!

China's astronomical rise over the past three and a half decades is both amazing and unique, as its magnitude is totally unprecedented in human history. Unfortunately, China's success comes with a huge cost, with environmental pollution and government corruption being among the top problems.

In a previous post (Corruption in China - Is It Really All That Bad?), I discussed government corruption. In this post, I will address environmental pollution.

First of all, how bad is pollution in China? Very bad! There is even a "standard" definition in Wikipedia - Pollution in China. Here is an excerpt:

Pollution is one aspect of the broader topic of environmental issues in China. Various forms of pollution have increased as China has industrialized, which has caused widespread environmental and health problems.

The fairness of the definition aside, environmental pollution in China is real and severe. It is very well highlighted by this recent video:

Editor's note: This outstanding documentary (currently banned in China) has been presented by GEI previously but can now be viewed with complete English subtitles.

China is heavily polluted - the bad news.

The good news is that China has declared war on pollution (China to 'declare war' on pollution). Hopefully they will achieve greater success than America has with its failed "War on Poverty" and "War on Drugs."

No question, the Chinese government must do more with better results, sooner!

Having said that, the West must understand that all developed nations have gone through the necessary transition from ignoring pollution completely to embracing environmentally sensitive policies, just as Europe (e.g. Industrial pollution 'costs UK billions each year'), Japan (e.g. Environmental issues in Japan), and America (e.g. U.S. Dust Bowl of 1930's) have done.

How fast has China been developing? Here is a recent report: How China used more cement in 3 years than the U.S. did in the entire 20th century.

No pain, no gain! Here is a recent 60 Minutes news story about China's pain and gain (i.e. rare earth elements):

Bottom line: Environmental pollution is a by-product of China's massive development. If there is one government on Earth that can get it under control and make great progress with tangible results, it's China's.

Let's wish the best for China on environmental pollution control ...

The world needs it!

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