Doing the Environment the Western Corporate Way

August 15, 2010

Michael Wines wrote in the Environmental section of The New York Times about China downplaying environmental disasters.  However, according to his conclusion, China is improving.

The problem is that his piece is missing balance, which isn’t surprising since the “New York Times” is famous for reporting bad news about China, but to be fair, most of the Western media is guilty of that.

Maybe Wines’ piece was published so most Americans, who are famous for having short memories, might forget the Gulf of Mexico oil spill now that it is capped.

How long did it take the public to learn that BP didn’t install the back-up safety system just to save a little money?

There’s also a movie, Erin Brockovich (based on a true story), about an unemployed mother who becomes a legal assistant for a lawyer and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply and trying to hide what was happening.

Let’s not forget the Niger Delta—that is if you’ve ever heard of it. CNN reported a spill there in 2006, but we should be hearing about the Niger Delta daily since there have been 7,000 oil spills there adding up to more than 13 million barrels of oil.

What about Bhopal, India where seven men held accountable for the 1984 Union Carbide pesticide plant accident are still out on bail. Twenty-five years later, no one has spent time in jail and 500 thousand residents continue to suffer from birth defects, blindness, early menopause and a host of other horrid illnesses.

Next up on our pollution list is the Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian rainforest in 1964, where eighteen-billion gallons of toxic run-off were discovered in the river. Texaco defended this by saying it was, “within industry standards.” 

Maybe it is time to change the standards?

The list is long: the Love Canal in the United States, Minamata Bay in 1956 Japan, Probo Koala in the Ivory Coast, Ok Tedi in Papua New Guinea, Esperance in West Australia, Exxon-Valdez, 3 Mile Island in Middleton PA, Chernobyl in Russia, Savesco in Italy, and the Sandoz Spill where toxic waste was released into Germany’s Rhine River. Source: Business Pundit

If anything, China learned from the British, French and the US, who taught the Chinese that by starting two 19th century wars in China, huge profits were made selling Opium to the people.

Then more than a century later, Deng Xiaoping said, “Getting Rich is Glorious.”

See Oil Spills


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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