Friday, May 30, 2008

China's Lies: Worthy of a Olympic Gold Medal

At the recent Dragon Boat, Kite and Lantern Festival, I was given this booklet: "Green Olypic Games" - Beijing's Promise by someone trying to propagate the wonderful things Chinese government had done in a step towards saving and cleansing Beijing's environment for the 2008 Olympics. The book first printed in 2007 (400,000 copies) by the Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, China, has been widely circulated across the world makes quite an impact on the lay reader. Unless otherwise well-informed any reader of this book will immediately turn an ardent admirer and supporter of China. Printed in soothing colour combinations with beautifully composed, evocative pictures the book comprises of five parts each dealing with a different aspect of China's eco-friendly initiatives: Green Olympic Games; The Green Promise; Green Actions; Green Services and Green Personalities.

The book starts off with lofty statements of Beijing's promise to provide a Green Olympic Games to the world. How the Chinese government decided to close down huge polluting enterprises such as the Beijing Coking Plant which is the main provider of raw material for Beijing's energy supply. The company which employed 10,000 people was closed down and here is one place where the people who actually lost their jobs saying that it was a good thing to close down the factory. "Now for the sake of the city's environment, we are moving, and it hurts but it's for the good of the society," says factory master Zhang Xiwen who perhaps retained his job or maybe not. This is not stated in the book.

After going through the book and its lofty world-saving statements, I rubbed my eyes in disbelief and to make sure what I knew was true and the book was just propaganda I did some research on the internet and was shocked by what I found. Here are some facts about China's pollution statistics:

"China has probably already overtaken the US as the world's leading emitter of CO2, and the country's ecosystems are displaying climate change's consequences: Arid northern China is drying out, the wet south is seeing more and more flooding, and, according to a June 2007 Greenpeace report, 80 percent of the Himalayan glaciers that feed Asia's mightiest rivers could disappear by 2035. Such a development would jeopardize hundreds of millions of people who depend on the rivers for their livelihood." - Writes CS Monitor
"The World Bank reports that 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in China" - Wikipedia
According to World Health Organisation, 760,000 people die prematurely each year in China because of air and water pollution.
In 1997, the lower Yellow River did not flow 230 days out of the year, an increase of over 2000% since 1988
15 to 20 percent of higher plant varieties in China are endangered. 40,000 species.

There are lots of statistics available about China's role in polluting the air, water and soil of this earth. Searching the internet will yield loads of information. Some sources I have used to compile this blog are given below.
And the Reality
As I said earlier the reality in China is quite different. Here are some pictures of AP which reveal the bleak environmental scenario in China. They are self-explanatory.

"Guangzhou: Illegal motorbikes confiscated by police in an effort to curb air pollution await destruction at a recycling company". How much pollution this recycling effort will cause is completely out of focus of the world.

Lanzhou, Gansu province: A resident takes a water sample from the polluted Yellow river". The river color looks red, as if full of blood, but it is full of chemicals and according to scientists it would probably take a few centuries to make the water usable for any purpose.

This image from Reuters struck a terrible chord with me on China and the life of China’s next generation. This is a photo of a man cleaning up dead fishes, over 120,000 pounds of dead fish in Wuhan, Hubei province that died due to pollution and the weather. China must do all it can to control this dangerous spread in pollution, before we know it, it will devour our country.

Great Propaganda
Indeed one must admire and learn from Chinese government about good public relations and propaganda. They have printed 400,000 copies of this book and are distributing it across the world, especially in the developed world as publicity material so there will be no voices of dissent about China. The packaging and production of the material is so slick and smooth that one will definitely fall for it.

Sources of Information for this article:
CS Monitor
Water and Environment
China's Pollution


Kelly said...

Your website is cool. I agree with ya on the Indiana Jones movie, for the most part. Harrison Ford, sad to say, should definitely hang up his fedora hat after this last one. But, on the other hand, I liked most of the action. Maybe it was because I hadn't seen a movie in a theatre for nearly six months. Ha ha. Also, the post about China, their "propaganda" and the information about how much pollution they're pumping into the air were things I had no idea about.

You have some great stuff on this site.

Kelly said...

Hey, by the way, come visit mine sometime.