Is acid rain eating away at China and the United States?

October 14, 2015

K. D. Koratsky’s book, Living with Evolution or Dying Without It, is a heavily researched, scholarly work that gathers what science has discovered since Darwin’s discoveries and fills in the gaps explaining why evolution has something to teach us if humanity is to survive.

The other choice is humanity going the way of the dinosaurs into extinction.

It took me two months to finish reading the 580 pages. The Flesch-Kincaid Readability level would probably show this book to be at a university graduate level leaving at last 90% of the population lost as to the importance of its message.

For months, it bothered me that so many in the United States do not have the literacy skills to understand an important work such as this (the average reader in the US reads at fifth grade level and millions are illiterate). This is certainly not a good foundation to learn how precarious life is if you do not understand how brutal the earth’s environment and evolution has been for billions of years.

For instance, did you now that 252 million years ago volcanic explosions and the CO2 caused by those eruptions resulted in an acid rain that was so intense it was like vinegar and it caused the worse extinction in the earth’s history—over 90 percent of all species on the planet were wiped out. Smithsonian.com

As I finished reading Living With Evolution or Dying Without It, I realized that it would only take a few key people in positions of power to understand the warnings offered by Koratsky and bring about the needed changes in one or more countries so humanity would survive somewhere on the planet when the next great environmental crises strikes.

On page one, Koratsky starts 13.7 billion years ago with the big bang then in a few pages ten billion years later, he introduces the reader to how certain bacteria discovered a new way to access the energy required to sustain an existence.

By the time we reach humanity’s first religion on page 157, we’ve discovered what caused so many species to die out and gained a better understanding of what survival of the fittest means.

To survive means adapting to environmental challenges no matter if they are delivered by the impact of a monster asteroid to the earth’s surface, global warming (no matter what the reason) or by competition with other cultures or animals competing for the earth’s resources.

In fact, competition is vital to the survival of a species for it is only through competition that a species will adapt to survive.

The book is divided into two parts.  The first 349 pages deals with where we have been and what we have learned, and the two hundred and eleven pages in Part Two deals with current ideas and policies from an evolutionary perspective.

I suspect that most devout Christians and Muslims would dismiss the warnings in this book out-of-hand since these people have invested their beliefs and the survival of humanity in books written millennia ago when humanity knew little to nothing about the laws of evolution and how important competition is to survival.

Koratsky is optimistic that the United States will eventually turn away from the political agenda of “Cultural Relativism” that has guided America since the 1960s toward total failure as a culture.

The popular term for “Cultural Relativism” in the US would be “Political Correctness”, which has spawned movements such as race-based quotas and entitlement programs that reward failure and punish success.

Koratsky shows that the key to survival is competition that rewards merit at all levels of the culture (private and government).

He points out near the end of the book that this has been happening in China and is the reason for that country’s amazing growth and success the last thirty years.

In the 1980s, merit was reinstituted at the bottom and most who prosper in China today earned the right to be rewarded for success by being more competitive and adapting. Even China’s state owned industries were required to become profitable or perish.

It’s obvious that the earth’s environment does not care about equality or the relativists’ belief that everyone has a right to happiness.

This book covers the evolution of the universe, the planet, all life on the planet including the reasons why most life that lived on the earth for hundreds of millions of years before humanity is now gone; the beginnings of the human species; religion in all of its costumes; the growth of civilizations and the competitions that led to the destruction and collapse of so many civilizations such as the Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty two millennia ago.

The environment and evolution says that all life on the planet is not equal and no one is born with a guaranteed right to success, happiness and fun. To survive means earning the right through competition and adaption. That doesn’t mean the losers have to suffer. After all, they do have the right to work, shelter and food—for instance, for the first time in more than two thousand years, no one is starving in China and most of the Chinese have shelter, because in the last thirty years China is responsible for 90% of the global reduction in poverty.

Of course, the Chinese achieved this poverty reduction—in part—by copying the lifestyles of the middle class in the United States.

If you don’t believe Koratsky’s warning, go talk to the dinosaurs and ask them why they’re gone or read that piece from the Smithsonian.com mentioned above.

Living With Evolution or Dying Without It by K. D. Koratsky
Publisher: Sunscape Books
ISBN: 978-0-9826546-0-6

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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China’s Goals to clean Dirty Coal

November 6, 2013

America’s Congress passed its Clean Air Act in 1970 because of dense, visible smog in many U.S. cities and industrial centers.  The U.S. has emitted over 90 billion metric tons of carbon since 1800 from fossil-fuel consumption and cement production. U.S. fossil-fuel emissions have doubled since the 1950s but the U.S. share of global emissions has declined from 44% to 19% over the same interval because of higher growth rates in other countries. Source: cdiac.gov

China’s Clean Air Act was first introduced in 1987. For an example of China’s progress, in 2006, Greenpeace was consulted by the CCP on an early draft of a renewable energy law by China’s National People’s Congress. Today—seven years later—China is the world’s leader in the production of renewable energy—in 2011, China produced 797.4 billion annual kilowatt-hours from alternative sources of energy production [hydroelectricity, wind power, biomass and solar] compared to the United States in second place with 699.3 billion.

While China’s air pollution problems may sound extreme and incomparable to air quality here in the U.S., we should not forget that America actually did face a very similar environmental situation during its industrialization. Source: Think Progress.org

Bill Chameides writes in the Huffington Post about China’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses by 40 to 45 percent by 2020.  He goes into detail how the Chinese plan to accomplish this.

Since 70% of China’s electricity comes from thousands of coal burning power plants, Chameides expresses doubts that China will be able to meet these lofty goals.  However, I disagree.  When you discover the downside of China’s coal burning power plants, it is obvious there is no choice but to clean up.

China’s one-party system has demonstrated the ability to get things done quickly and mistakes are made but so are course corrections.  I witnessed China’s ability to get things done in Shanghai. We were staying in what was once the French concession. The stately mansions that had housed wealthy French families and their Chinese servants had been converted to communal multi-family homes still surrounded by high walls.  When we went to sleep, the walls were there. In the morning, they were gone. 

An army of workers arrived at night, took down the walls and trucked out the debris without making enough noise to wake people.

Although I disagree with Chameides conclusion, his piece is worth reading. And we should not lose sight of the fact that China’s population represents 19% of the earth’s total compared to 4.5% for the U.S. In addition, China’s average per capita CO2 emissions in 2011 was 7.2 tonnes per capita (per person) compared to 17.2 tonnes in America—one of the largest in the world. Imagine how many tons of CO2 the US would pollute the environment with if it had China’s population. Source: PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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Environmentalism in China (Viewed as Single Page)

January 28, 2010

To understand why China is often the focus of so much attention when it comes to pollution, such as carbon emissions from oil, coal, gasoline, diesel and burning wood, we should start where the industrial revolution began and that is in the West (more than two centuries ago). I will start with an “old” friend that believes environmentalists worship the environment instead of God. I do not agree.

Instead, I see environmentalism as humanity’s effort to save the world from a potential catastrophe. If anything, the Christian God would support environmentalism, since He entrusted the earth to humanity’s care. Nowhere in Genesis or the Bible does God tell man to destroy and/or pollute the earth.

In fact, He says in Genesis 1:28, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Then, in Numbers 35:33, the Christian Bible says, “So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are…” and 35:34, “Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit…”

My “old” friend, that claims Global Warming is a hoax, has joined those that shout “no” loudest at the scientific theories that current trends in Global Warming are caused by carbon emissions, which “may” create what is known as greenhouse gasses that become trapped in the atmosphere.

If you want to learn more about the theory behind Global Warming, visit the Environmental Defense Fund and read the Basics of Global Warming, which my “old” friend believes is a hoax.

My “old” friend may also be described as an evangelical, born-again Christian, conservative libertarian that believes everything bad that happens is the fault of liberals. He also listens to neoconservative talk show host Dennis Prager and belongs to a chapter of the Dennis Prager fan club, which meets regularly.

If you decide to discover what Dennis Prager preaches to his fans, I suggest reading Why Liberals Fear Global Warming more Than Conservatives Do. You may quickly learn how an American radio talk-show host uses emotional language to manipulate the people that “worship” what he preaches daily.


Black Carbon causes an estimated 1.5 million deaths per year.

However, when we return to what the Christian Bible says about pollution, how guilty is the US (and American conservatives such as Dennis Prager and his fans) when it comes to what the Christian Bible says not to do?

To discover the answer, we will focus on Black Carbon and CO2 emissions as a source of pollution.

Between 1990 and 2008, according to the United Nations Statistics Division, the US produced 314.6 million metric tons of CO2, while China produced 57.23 million metric tons. One metric ton is 1,000 kg or 2,204.62 pounds, which means one million metric tons weighs one billion kg or more than two billion pounds.


Chinese Environmentalists Target Apple

In addition, in 2008, the Earth System Science Education Alliance reported, “Black soot is made up of microscopic carbon particles released during the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels (oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, coal and the burning of wood)…

“Soot, we now understand, is hazardous to our health and is suspected of contributing to global warming.”

In fact, soot has only recently been identified as a major player in the loss of ice and snow in the Polar Regions.

While the US has reduced CO2 emissions from 19.7 million metric tons in 1997 (the highest point on record) to 17.5 in 2008, China increased CO2 emissions from 2.8 million metric tons to 5.3.

In 2008, the US still produced more than three times the amount of CO2 China produced.

Facts and Details.com says, “The U.S. emits about 21% of the world’s CO2 and 6.1% of the world’s Black Soot. However, the majority of today’s black carbine emissions are from developing countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

“China and India together account for 25-35% of global black carbon emissions.”


Using technology to confront polluters in China

What isn’t mentioned is that the US population is less than 5% of the global total while China and India together represent 36%. From these facts, it is clear that the US still pollutes more than its share of black soot and CO2 compared to China and India.

What is China doing to solve the pollution challenge before it equals the more than two hundred years of pollution from the US and Europe?

In China, the environmental movement started in recent years from the top down and the bottom up. Evidence of this fledgling movement appears in several Western media sources.

For a more detailed history, The China Daily’s Sun Xiaohua wrote A Legal Leap Forward, which starts with an accidental environmental disaster that took place the day before China passed its first ever draft of the Environmental Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China in 1979.

The man that caused the accidental environmental disaster was sentenced to two years in jail. As we all know, passing laws are easy compared to enforcing them, and it doesn’t matter if we are in the US or China. Some environmental disasters are accidents, as in this case, and some are intentional due to greed.

In The Atlantic, Christina Larson wrote China’s Nascent Environmentalism, and said, “Since 2007, I have been reporting in China (and elsewhere in Asia), looking at the efforts of China’s environmentalists, scientists, lawyers, and others to rein in their country’s enormous (I question the use of the word ‘enormous’ when we compare more than two hundred years of CO2 and Black Soot pollution in the US to China) pollution toll and related problems.

Larson says, “China may clean up its environmental mess eventually … but it almost certainly won’t do so in the same fashion as the West.”


Green Long March in China – 2009

Then Arrol Gellner, writing for SFGate of China’s environmentalist ways, says, “At China’s current rate of progress, and despite its posturing to the contrary, industrial polluters may well be brought up to Western standards within the next decade.

“What’s more,” Gellner writes, “when China decides that it’s ready to tackle its environmental problems full force, it’ll move quickly. Unlike us fiercely independent-minded Americans, the Chinese people, for the most part, are far more amenable to sweeping change being imposed from the top down – a deep-seated cultural trait that stems, not from China’s trifling time under communism, but rather from its nearly 3,500 years under dynastic rule.”

Another example by Philip P. Pan appeared in the Houston Chronicle of an environmental grass roots movement to do away with disposable wooden chopsticks. A quote by Kang Dahu, a truck driver in China says it best. “The disposable ones are such a waste! We’re destroying what little is left of our forests to make them,” said Kang, 22, who does volunteer work with several environmental groups. “Just imagine, years from now, when my grandchildren ask me what happened to all of China’s trees, I’ll have to say, `We made them into chopsticks.’ Isn’t that pitiful?”

In addition, Zhang Zhe, 24, who works for an environmental education group supported by British zoologist Jane Goodall, says, “Chopsticks are just an example. People are beginning to ponder even ordinary things.”

To discover more of how diverse this environmental awakening is in China, the October 2011 issue of Smithsonian magazine introduces us to the Bird Whisperer, a Buddhist monk named Tashi Zangpo, who is saving one of the world’s rarest birds, the Tibetan bunting.

“Tashi, now 41,” Phil McKenna writes, “has crisscrossed the Tibetan plateau drawing 400 bird species. He is currently compiling a field guide that evokes the work of John James Audubon or Roger Tory Peterson. He wears prayer beads on one wrist and a digital watch with altimeter and compass on the other.”

However, in America, regardless of what is happening in Asia, China is often criticized in the media and by the public (after reading about it in the media) for air pollution blowing more than 6,000 miles across the Pacific to the United States.


The breathing earth

From Where Does Our Pollution Go, we learn that “Winds can carry pollution around the planet, therefore, all nations are connected by air currents,” and then from MSNBC, we discover that the U.S. exports its air pollution to Europe.

When I Googled “air pollution from China to America”, the results were more than 9.4 million hits, but when I searched “air pollution from America to Europe”, there were more than 17 million.

MSNBC’s Michael Schirber of Live Science reported in 2005, that “On Nov. 14, 2001, a low-pressure system caused a large mass of air huddled over the eastern half of the United States to rise up several miles, where it was then carried by the jet stream to Europe,” which resulted in a 33% increase in ozone levels in the Alps.

In addition, Schirber says, “European pollution has been tracked to Asia, as well as the Arctic…” He compares the wind to a conveyor belt.

In fact, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research reported in October 2009 that when it comes to global air pollution, what goes around comes around. “Air pollution from factories, traffic, and power plants in Asia wafts over the Pacific Ocean to the United States, while pollutants produced in the United States wind up in Europe.”

Then there are those in America and Europe (and elsewhere in the world) that claim CO2 is not a pollutant and is not contributing to Global Warming.


Ocean Acidification — Changing Planet — As higher amounts of carbon dioxide become absorbed by the oceans, some marine organisms are finding it is a struggle to survive

For such naysayers, in January 2008, a Stanford Report written by Louis Bergeron reported on a study conducted by a Stanford scientist that linked carbon dioxide emissions to increased deaths.

“For the first time,” Bergeron wrote, there were direct links between increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and increases in human mortality…

The study detailed how for each increase of 1 degree Celsius caused by carbon dioxide, the resulting air pollution would lead annually to about a thousand additional deaths and many more cases of respiratory illness and asthma in the United States.

So, next time you hear someone criticize China for air pollution crossing the Pacific Ocean to the US, consider the amount of CO2 and Black Soot China produced in the last thirty years of industrialization compared to the UK, Europe and America’s more than two centuries.

Once you know the facts and you were given a choice to live in Europe or America, where would the air probably be cleaner/healthier?

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note: This post first appeared as a four part series on October 31, 2011 in Environmentalism in China – Part 1